Chooser beggar at Ramadan bazaar rejects offer of food from American tourist, demands cash instead

RECENT news on Ramadan bazaars have not made for pleasant have not made for pleasant reading. From grouses of unreasonable price hikes to poor business for traders, these food carnivals have been attracting a lot of unwanted press.

This alongside the proliferation of beggars at these bazaars at these bazaars seemingly intent on taking advantage of people’s good nature during the holy month has made visiting these places less appealing.

This was most certainly the experience of an American tourist who shared his unfortunate experience on TikTok.

Upon being approached by a woman holding a sleeping infant, the tourist offered her some food he had bought when she signalled she needed sustenance. To the kind-hearted tourist’s dismay, the woman had wanted only cash.

The video uploaded on TikTok by @travelsolovlogs has attracted plenty of comments. This is a sample:

Many were quick to point out that many of these beggars/scammers were foreigners.

Some highlighted the aggressiveness of these beggars/scammers.

Of course, many asked what the authorities were doing about this growing menace.

A couple pointed out that the lady in the video looks too well-groomed to be a beggar.

This post highlights a few issues. Firstly, while comments attributing these beggars to foreigners were aplenty, it does not take into account that many refugees in Malaysia are denied the right to work, thus forcing them into begging activities.

For sure, many are scammers and are illegally here but many are forced into their current plight due to local laws.

Secondly, the issue of enforcement is once again brought to the fore as many Malaysians say these beggars/scammers are emboldened by lack of action from the authorities.

Thirdly, if everyone stops giving alms to these roadside beggars, the issue will disappear. Maybe everyone who feels the need to help can offer food instead of cash. The genuinely needy will not refuse.

Last but not least, one netizen highlighted what was perhaps the most important thing by thanking the tourist for his good intentions. – March 30, 2024

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