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Penang to build first transit centre for the homeless

Penang will build the first transit centre in the state to provide shelter for the homeless.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the Triple Net Zero concept project, will be the first transit centre to be built on 1,370sqm of land owned by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP).

“With the problem of homelessness becoming increasingly rampant this year, the state government together with MBPP has agreed to use the proposal previously presented by Penang Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh through the Empowering The Streets Citizens programme in 2016,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the transit centre project for the homeless on Jalan CY Choy in George Town today.

Chow said based on the records and statistics of the Penang Social Welfare Department, from January to December 2019, a total of 458 operations to rescue beggars and vagrants were conducted in all state districts, namely the Northeast involving 152 operations, Southwest (103), Seberang Perai Utara (89), Seberang Perai Tengah (47) and Seberang Perai Selatan 67 operations.

“According to Social Welfare Department’s statistics last year for the same period (Jan-Dec), 592 beggars or tramps comprising citizens and non-citizens were rescued,” he said.

In view of this, Chow said the state government hopes to see the pilot project succeed as a means to curb the problem of loitering homeless people often associated with cleanliness and safety issues as well as various social problems which were detrimental to George Town's image as a Unesco World Heritage Site, a major focal point of local and foreign tourists.

- Bernama 

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