Monday, 21 April 2014

Myanmar kids risking their safety to sell roses around Bukit Bintang


It is not the first time I see these kids knocking on car windows that slow down at the few traffic light junctions around Bukit Bintang area. The first time I saw them was somewhere last year on a Saturday night after dinner with my parents at Li Yen at the Ritz Carlton. As my car was stopping at the Jalan Imbi/Jalan Sultan Ismail junction, a sad looking boy knocked on my window offering a stalk of rose for RM 20.00.

The Myanmar boy covering his face when he saw my friend taking pictures.
Out of pity, I bought one and managed to ask where he comes from. “I come from Myanmar,” he replied in good spoken English. I didn’t manage to ask more nor had the chance to take any picture as the light turned green and the boy ran back to the side of the road. I drove off. Later on, I saw them again – a few kids, boys and girls, endangering themselves by approaching the cars as the traffic light turn red and ran back to the side when it turns green. I never see them between Monday to Thursday night. It is always during weekend.
Two nights ago, I saw them again; the few faces that I can recognize by now. I was driving to KLCC with a friend after dinner at Shanghai Restaurant. As my car stop at the Jalan Bukit Bintang/Jalan Sultan Ismail junction right next to Lot 10, a boy with stalks of roses knocked on my window. My friend and I agreed that someone or some organization must be behind these kids selling roses in such a dangerous way and we have to put a stop to it. He asked me to wind down the window and try to ask the boy as much questions as I can while he snap some pictures.
As if trained to avoid the lenses, the boy covered his face with the flowers while I asked where he stays and who supply them with the roses. He must have been trained to refuse to answer any questions too. Knowing that we are not winding down the window to buy any roses from him, he moved on to another car. Deep in my thought, I pity these young boys and girls and at the same time I am angry with the person or organization behind them that put profit before their safety.
If I can spot these kids so many times; there is no excuse that the police that patrol Bukit Bintang area never see them. I am wondering too, are these kids in our country legally? How many more kids are running around selling roses or other stuffs at the many junctions in Kuala Lumpur? Again, why our authorities always fail to take action before something serious happen? Should we wait for an accident to happen before these kids are going to be rounded up and those behind them face the music?
As I am writing this, I know that there must be a demand for the roses that they sell; otherwise they won’t be there every weekend.  If everyone stops buying from them, chances are they are going to stop but what will be the other consequences to them? Will they be beaten up? Will they have food on their table? Regardless, it just do not justify the action to risk their life.
If I see them again next time, I am not just going to drive past. I will park the car aside, call the police and make sure that in the future, I won’t be seeing kids endangering themselves running around at traffic junctions selling roses or other stuffs. We have to put a stop to this!!

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