Thursday, 17 July 2008

The Star, Malaysia: Ng: Welfare aid for gays, too
Thursday July 17, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: All Malaysians, including homosexuals, can apply and receive welfare aid if they meet the necessary welfare requirements, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.

"We do not discriminate based on sexual inclination. As long as you are a Malaysian and are entitled to receive welfare aid, we will give it to you, especially the poor.

"We should not judge them as they too are entitled to get help," she said yesterday when asked to comment on a Parliament debate over the presence of homosexuals in the Klang Valley.

Dr Ng said her ministry had submitted a research paper to the Cabinet a month ago on problems faced by homosexuals, including no legal entity.

"According to our research, these non-heterosexuals are often shunned by society, ashamed, laughed at and bullied.

"Most of them are not keen to come forward because of the treatment they had received," she told a press conference yesterday.

On whether the ministry was working on legalising the status of homosexuals, Dr Ng said it was a very complex issue which had to be looked at thoroughly including the religious and cultural aspect.

Earlier, Dr Ng witnessed the presentation of cheques totalling RM15,000 to three welfare homes. The money was collected during a recent month-long programme titled 'Love and Care' organised by Central Market Sdn Bhd in conjunction with Mothers Day and Fathers Day.

She said they were reviewing the allowances received by the disabled to sharpen the delivery system and ensure the deserving ones had quick access to them.

On another matter, Dr Ng said the ministry did not approve the idea of outsourcing fund-raising activities for commission and as a profit-sharing business.

She was commenting on a recent statement by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong that "licensed beggars' were on the prowl, especially at food outlets seeking donations on behalf of welfare homes with the idea of profit-sharing and receiving commission from the money.

Dr Ng said a show-cause letter would be given to such private homes which were also registered and receiving aid from the ministry.

"We are not against fund-raising but do not do it as a 60:40 business. Be transparent with the donors.

"All the money should go straight to the homes minus the administrative fees and not to an outsourcing company," she added.

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