KUALA LUMPUR CITY HALL (DBKL) has been accused of rounding up homeless people in lorries, driving them about 30 kilometers away and leaving some by the side of a highway.
The accusation was leveled at DBKL by Lalita Abdullah, executive committee member of a local NGO, the SEED Foundation, in a Facebook post.
According to Abdullah, DBKL conducted a “massive raid” on May 22, picking up homeless people found in the city and “herding” them onto lorries around midnight.
Without being informed of what was happening, they were driven out and dropped off in the town of Rawang in the Gombak district, about a 40-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur.
Some of the homeless people picked up said there were up to 30 others in a single lorry, reports local news portal Malaysiakini. It is not known exactly how many people were driven out of the city.
They also said it took about four hours to walk back to Kuala Lumpur. By the time they reached the city, it was daylight.
Abdullah posted the scathing allegation earlier this week, accusing the Malaysian government of washing its hands of homelessness and poverty in the city.
She wrote: “Such deliberate cruelty and maliciousness just makes my blood boil. This is how you treat people?? What the hell is wrong with you??”
The latest report by Malaysiakini says that deputy minister of federal territories, Loga Bala Mohan, has denied that it was DBKL who rounded up the homeless people on May 22.
Mohan reportedly said it was “another government agency” that drove the homeless out of the city, and called the incident a “misunderstanding”. He did not clarify what particular agency is responsible.
Asian Correspondent has contacted SEED for comment on Mohan’s statement.