Malaysia halts welfare for SUV owner caught begging for up to $106 daily

By Minh Long   March 17, 2024 | 10:57 pm PT
Malaysia halts welfare for SUV owner caught begging for up to $106 daily
A Malaysian man claims to earn up to 500 ringgit (US$104.6) daily by pretending to be a beggar. Illustration photo by Pexels
The Malaysian government has terminated welfare allowances for an SUV-owning man who is gainfully employed and still earns 500 Malaysian ringgit (US$106) per day soliciting alms at night markets.

The Malaysian Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development informed Parliament on March 12 that the man will no longer receive his monthly disability allowance of 450 ringgit starting in March, according to The Straits Times.

The ministry issued him a warning and a letter of undertaking to cease his begging activities.

Investigations by the ministry revealed the man currently holds employment as a shift supervisor with a bus company, earning a monthly salary of 2,000 ringgit.

During routine checks at the Sri Jaya night market in Pahang State’s Maran District Feb. 21, officers from the local Social Welfare Department encountered the man dressed in a grey robe and Muslim skull cap, soliciting alms with a paper bag to elicit sympathy.

To their surprise, they discovered the man owned a Proton X70, a premium SUV valued between 123,800 to 128,800 ringgit ($25,900-26,900).

The man said he often earned up to 500 ringgit for every four or five hours he spent soliciting donations at night markets. He had been receiving a monthly allowance of 450 ringgit from the welfare department since 2001, according to AsiaOne.

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