M'sians Are Furious At 'Begpackers' Who Allegedly Beg For Weeks In Bukit Bintang
Before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world, it was common to see Caucasian backpackers begging for money on the streets of Kuala Lumpur
These 'world travellers' would frequently beg locals for money in order to purchase plane tickets to return back to their home countries, as well as food and other necessities.
They have become so well-known among Malaysians that they have earned the moniker 'begpackers', a portmanteau of the words 'begging' and 'backpacking'.
While we have not seen them in a while in the past two years, begpackers have returned and are marking their territory along the streets of Bukit Bintang.
After seeing the return of these begpackers, a Malaysian recently expressed her displeasure on Twitter
The Twitter user attached photos of two begpackers and said that they were sitting in the Bukit Bintang streets.
In the images she shared, the two travellers can be seen covering themselves from the scorching sun with an umbrella. They also place a box and a sign in front of them, which reads, "Money to buy food and return flight."
Unhappy with what she saw, the user tweeted that she was not comfortable with the presence of these begpackers.
"I'm not comfortable with the fact that they are taking advantage of us when they're capable of paying for the trip," she wrote.
"Please don't make a mockery out of actual homeless people. This country is already struggling with refugee crisis (xenophobia and etc.), so don't make it worse."
Her tweet went viral and other Malaysians were also outraged by the presence of the two individuals
One user commented that they had seen the couple sitting in front of the Grand Millennium Hotel for quite some time.
They went on to say that the begpackers previously requested money to purchase food and drinks, but have since switched to food and return flight tickets.
The user also attached a photo of the couple when she saw them sitting on the streets.
Another user claimed to have seen the couple playing with their phones at the same spot on 6 January.
"Why can't they contact their families from overseas to ask for help?" the user asked.
"If we travel to Indonesia, they would demand to see our return tickets. How are foreigners entering our borders without showing their return tickets?" another user asked.
Meanwhile, one user suggested that the authorities arrest these begpackers.
"They're so smart to walk here and there, but can't figure out how to find their country's embassy," they wrote.
"If you're broke, just stay in your country and keep quiet."
In 2019, the immigration department in Bali vowed to send all foreigners caught begging to their respective embassies:
In the same year, SAYS video producer Nandini Balakrishnan shared her thoughts on the 'begpacking' phenomenon on BBC's World News Today: