Friday, February 26, 2010

Many Sabahan homeless in Kuala Lumpur

Many were cheated by their employers. This is routine treatment to all workers in the whole of Malaysia that share similar laws and their enforcement, which made Malaysia, especially Sabah, the worst in Human Trafficking i.e. SLAVERY.

Published on: Friday, February 19, 2010

Kota Kinabalu: A Daily Express check in Kuala Lumpur confirmed many homeless and jobless Sabahans there. They are mostly from rural areas and depending on charitable organisations for survival. This reporter met about 15 Sabahans and three Sarawakians who turned up at the Archdiocesan Office for Human Development (AHOD) at Jalan Bukit Nenas, Kuala Lumpur, last Friday.

AHOD, the official arm of the Catholic Church (in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur) is among non-governmental organisations providing free food for the homeless in the nation's capital.
Officer-in-charge of AHOD, Carl D'Cunha, as well as Sabahan priest Fr Valentine Gompok who is currently serving at the St Francis of Assisi parish in Cheras, helped to arrange the meeting.
Also present was Anita Sani from Persatuan Momogun Malaysia who said she would submit a report to the relevant authorities in Sabah for further action.

Daily Express had on Jan. 18 exposed the presence of quite a number of young people from East Malaysia, mostly from Sabah, stranded in the nation's capital, roaming the streets and depending on free meals.

The expose came about following investigative reporting follow-ups with other NGOs providing similar charitable services there, namely Kechara Soup Kitchen Society and Street Fellowship at Klang Bus Station.

Among the Sabahans who identified themselves as homeless were 33-year- old Apai John from Kg Mantailang, Tenom; Nicklos Jusit (24) from Kepayan Ridge, Kota Kinabalu; Ramsi Noing (30) from Mile 7, Tinusa 2, Sandakan; Junik John (21) from Ranau; Mohd Fauzi Mahatin (24) from Kg Desa Aman, Kundasang; Syukri Ober (24) from Kunak; Bally Balingi (24) from Kg Paguokon, Tenom; Sahadan Saidin (23) from Anjung Teduh, Felda Sahabat 1, Lahad Datu; Rejis Jais (24) from Kota Marudu; Hermis Saimin (19) from Ranau; Martin Majari (35) from Kg Bambangan in Pitas; Abdul Asintu (30) from Sandakan; and Prislu Sapsin (35) from Beluran.
Another Sabahan from Tambunan turned up for the free meal but declined to join the meeting. Half of them expressed desire to return to Sabah when they had the money while the rest hoped to stay on for a while to see if their fortunes improved.

The Sarawakians who joined in included a 17-year-old girl Angira ak Dolkit from Kampung Serikin in Bau; Ritzman G. Clerk (38) from Sri Aman and Seling ak Dian from Kapit. They said they slept anywhere that was comfortable.

According to Carl, AHOD looks into the food aspects of about 30 or so young people from East Malaysia.

Apai, considered one of the "seniors", has guided about 15 Sabahans who he found stranded in various parts of KL to places such as AHOD where they at least get free meals. He admitted being jobless and homeless in Kuala Lumpur for about four to five years now.

"In Kuala Lumpur, there are many homeless Sabahans, (easily) more than a hundred and maybe 300 to 400. You can find them in many places like Masjid India, Daya Bumi, Klang Bus Station and Bukit NenasÉini yang betul-betul merempat, yang tiada rumah, tiada apa semua (these are truly homeless, do not have a home, do not have anything at all)," he said.
According to him, most came to the peninsula following private job recruitment agents but ended up cheated by these agents or those employing them. Others followed their Sabahan friends already there, hoping to find work but after some time either quit due to social problems.
As for Apai, mixing with the wrong people caused him to be in this situation. He came to the peninsula about 13 years ago and did various jobs, including as a security guard, contract worker and factory worker.

Apai said people like him sleep either along the roadsides, parks or at buildings like Daya Bumi or the Puduraya bus terminal. He said although all those from Sabah do not sleep at the same place every night, their daily routine is similar.

"Normally, we will go to another church near a bus stand in Klang which is open at about 10am daily and closes at 5pm for our free morning breakfast and lunch," he said.

After that, he said they would go their separate ways, some to meet other friends or to look for another place to spend the night.

"Sometimes I will follow friends and look for workÉthis way we can get part-time jobs. This is routine for us everyday."

Because the charity centres only provide meals during daytime, dinner requires going to behind fast food outlets, usually KFC, or similar premise to salvage discarded leftover food they can eat from rubbish bins.

"We look for any leftover food still eatable that we can find in the rubbish bins of these premisesÉkira okay la, boleh juga (it's okay, still can)," he said, adding that the homeless people from other states also do likewise.

However, he said they (homeless, including from different states) never fight over the leftover food at these premises because "sama- sama faham (mutually understand each other)".
Apai, whose family once lodged a missing person report back in Tenom, said for personal hygiene, he would normally go to the nearest mosque to bathe. When nature calls and if he does not have any money, he will relieve himself at any secluded place he can find. Admitting it is hard to be homeless and jobless in the nation's capital without any place to turn to for assistance, he hoped the Government will help people like them.

During the meeting, Fr Valentine provided them consultation while Anita recorded their particulars for further action by the Sabah State Government. Anita, who is based in Kuala Lumpur, claimed to have been directed by the authorities in Sabah after Daily Express broke the story.

She said the directive came after a meeting held a week earlier involving various parties.

She also took down the particulars of those who wished to return to Sabah.

Most of those present admitted have been involved in drugs but have since repented.

Many still had their MyKad with them while a few others were holding temporary identification documents after losing theirs to snatch thieves or to former employers.

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