I REFER to the letter “Begging has become a lucrative occupation” (The Star, April 8) and wish to add my observation.
Unscrupulous Malaysians are taking advantage of the generosity of kind-hearted locals by bringing in foreigners to beg “professionally”.
I, too, have observed beggars counting their collection from afar, and I will also concur with the writer that this occupation pays much better than labouring at the construction site or doing some other manual work.
On one occasion, I observed a car dropping a “beggar” a few hundred metres from shophouses in Bangsar and the moment he approached the vicinity where he was going to beg, he took out a walking stick and put on a pathetic look to cash in on the sympathy of people around him.
I noticed some people gave RM1 to this fraudster.
Malaysians are a generous lot, if they don’t give RM1, they will at least drop some coins into the begging bowl.
They have a guilty conscience if they refrain from giving to the needy.
I do my bit for charity and am sympathetic towards the poor, the disabled or maimed.
But like any other person, I hate being hoodwinked by an imposter.
Besides beggars, there are others taking advantage of people by asking for donations in the name of religion or other causes such as for the physically and mentally disabled.
It is high time the authorities come down hard on frauds and cheats.
Able-bodied people should be decent enough to work hard for a living.JAMES GONZALES,