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Sabah to have centre for vagrants: Azizah

Published on: Monday, August 04, 2014

Beaufort: A centre known as "Desa Bina Diri" to rescue and help vagrants will be set up in Sabah.

Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said the centre would materialise once funding is channelled to the Federal-level Welfare Department here to renovate Taman Seri Puteri into a "Desa Bina Diri" centre.

"Taman Seri Puteri in Menggatal is a centre that falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal-level Welfare Department in Sabah to rehabilitate problematic young women to be better citizens.

"Due to lower number of youths being admitted into the rehab centre, Taman Seri Puteri will be renovated to fit in the 'Desa Bina Diri' as a temporary place for vagrants while waiting for the next course of action to help them," he said.

Azizah, who is also Beaufort MP, said this to reporters during a Hari Raya Aidil Fitri Open House hosted by her at a hall here on Saturday.

She also launched a "Save Gaza" campaign to raise funds to help the war victims in Gaza.

By having the 'Desa Bina Diri', Azizah said vagrants found loitering and wandering around the city with no proper place to live would be rescued and sent to the centre.

"The centre is like a halfway house for vagrants where welfare officers would identify their needs and assist them in any way they can.

"For example, if the vagrants were local senior citizens, then they would be sent to old folk's home if they have no families to be contacted," she said.

As for those occupants in Taman Seri Puteri, Azizah said the young women will be relocated to a similar centre manned by the Federal Government in Sarawak.

On the Save Gaza campaign, Azizah said it would be an on-going effort to collect donations from locals here to help especially women and children who have become victims in the ongoing Israeli-Gaza war.

She said all donations would be sent to an official account authorised to collect the money and the concerned party will channel them to help the war victims.

"I hope what happened in Gaza would be a big lesson to us in Malaysia and a huge awareness on how disunity can disrupt peace and harmony.

"For example today, my heart was really touched when I saw a small child who is an orphan donating his Raya money to our Save Gaza fund. This shows not only that Malaysians are a caring people but it also portrays the true spirit of 1Malaysia," she said.

Azizah also expressed hope that all Malaysians would stop any provocation that could stir and jeopardise unity, peace and solidarity that exist in the multiracial society in the country.