Bandar Seri Begawan - In the country known among its regional partners for its programmes in helping underprivileged individuals and families, there has been an increasing number of reports on homeless people seemingly asking for help.
While the government thanked the media for highlighting these cases in the newspapers, local reporters have been asked to investigate the real situation of those individuals or families to provide a balanced story before jumping the gun and pointing the finger at the government for not assisting them.
In a dialogue with local media news representatives yesterday, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah asked reporters not to be easily taken in by the stories told by the "homeless" or underprivileged individuals at face value.
He said that, from his experience, not all the cases were genuine and that they needed to be investigated first.
The ministers said there were instances where these poor people were offered accommodation but rejected it because it did not contain their desired number of rooms. And so they instead chose to be homeless. There were also instances in which people threatened to go to the media if they felt the ministry did not meet their demands.
The minister feared that if all the problems were highlighted in the news, more people will become demanding of the government and too dependent on the help from others. He said the media should not encourage this situation to happen.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin