Poverty, sickness and pure survival – just a few reasons why genuinely needy people beg on the streets for money. But as these images show, the poor in southeast Asia are increasingly being joined by wealthy Western backpackers who are begging simply to fund their trips, as quoted from Daily Mail.
The trend has caused outrage among locals, who say the tourists are taking money from the truly needy in order to finance lifestyle choices many consider a luxury.
Travellers also appear to be openly flouting strict laws on street begging in many of the countries they visit. For example, in Singapore, only visitors with a work visa are allowed to busk.
Maisarah Abu Samah, who is from Singapore, posted two images of people begging on Twitter – one couple selling postcards and another playing music.
Expressing her fury, she told France24 : “It was the first time I’ve seen something like that and it stopped me in my tracks.
First of all, you don’t see many people selling knick-knacks or playing music in the street in Singapore because there are strict rules governing these activities. And, if you do happen to see street vendors or street performers, they are usually in the town centre and not near a bus stop in a relatively middle class neighbourbood like this. I’ve also never seen white people doing that.”
“We find it extremely strange to ask other people for money to help you travel. Selling things in the street or begging isn’t considered respectable.
People who do so are really in need: they beg in order to buy food, pay their children’s school fees or pay off debts.
But not in order to do something seen as a luxury.”
A video from The Star also showed a young man selling spray-painted portraits in Kuala Lumpur.
Part of the outrage comes from a perceived unfairness between locals and tourists.
Louisa, a Malaysian woman who studied political economics, told France 24 that tourists are often feel they can behave however they want while travelling in an ‘exotic’ place.
She said: “I want to ask these tourists: what makes you think that this kind of behaviour is normal in Asia? Why don’t you do the same thing at home?”
Read full article and images, here
Source: dailymail.co.uk / Chris Pleasance