Ernest (right) and other enforcement personnel with some of the child beggars detained in the operation.
KOTA KINABALU September 5, 2012: A handicapped child beggar yesterday dashed across a busy street in a desperate but futile bid to evade detention by City Hall enforcement personnel.
The 12-year-old Filipino boy, who was caught after running for about 100 metres at Jalan Tun Razak, was among three child beggars detained in an operation on Monday night.
The two-hour operation, which began at 7.30pm, also saw the detention of three other children and a youth on suspicion of selling contraband cigarettes and possessing a stolen MyKad.
It is learnt that some child beggars in the city come from the nearby Pulau Gaya while others are street kids.
Each of them is said to be able to get up to RM50 a day from begging.
They would move in groups of between five and 10 children to beg for money from both locals and tourists.
Lately, these child beggars have become increasingly daring and were seen knocking on vehicles at traffic lights, especially at Wisma Merdeka.
City Hall deputy enforcement officer Ernest Majikon, who led the operation, said it was carried out after they had received many complaints from the public, including tourists.
“Six children, including two girls, were detained for begging and selling contraband cigarettes to the public.
“A foreign man, in his 40s, who suddenly walked into City Hall office to see what was going on, was also detained for allegedly holding and using a stolen MyKad,” he said.
Ernest said the children would be taken to the children’s shelter in Kimanis, Papar while the foreign man would be handed over to the Immigration Department for further action.
He said similar operations would be carried out from time to time to curb begging around the city.
by Elton Gomes