SIBU: A total of 19 vagrants were taken off the town’s central business district during a late night operation on Wednesday.
The operation was led by Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.
The vagrants were rounded up in Rajang Esplanade, Jalan Maju, riverfront, Jalan Channel, town square, Jalan Sanyan, Jalan Tukang Besi , Jalan Market, Jalan Wong Nai Siong and Sibu Gateway.
About 60 personnel from various government departments and agencies took part in the operation.
They included officers from the Resident Office, Welfare Department, District Office, police and Sibu Municipal Council.
Of the 19 vagrants, 15 of them were men; 12 were aged 60 years and above, five between 36 and 59 and two between 18 and 35 years old. Three of them are foreigners.
According to Fatimah, since 2016, a total of 83 such operations have been carried out statewide with the aim of taking vagrants off the streets and giving them decent living.
“From these operations, a total of 195 vagrants have been saved from the streets with most of them aged between 50 and 59 followed by 40-49 age group,” she said.
The operation was also to find out issues affecting vagrants and to enable the authority to set up a data base on vagrants in the state.
“With this data base as ‘evidence-based input’, we will be able to overcome issues that caused them
to wander in the street,” said Fatimah.