Jln Pretty ‘beggar’ back in school

National 1 minute, 27 seconds

BELAIT

THE mystery of the unidentified “teenage beggar” along Jln Pretty in Kuala Belait town reported by a reader in October has been solved, with the Community Development Department (JAPEM) in Belait concluding investigations into the matter.

“Based on the information we received, we conducted our investigations and have identified the person in question to be a 28-year-old local man. Upon confirmation of his identity, JAPEM officers visited his home on November 14 and met with his guardian,” said Noridah Hj Ishak, head of JAPEM in Belait.

According to Noridah, the man had already been on the JAPEM casefiles previously for similar issues.

A former student at the Pusat Bahagia Eric Goh (a special needs learning centre in Kuala Belait), he has been diagnosed by a clinical psychologist as being a “slow learner with low IQ”.

After discussions with the man’s guardian, he was re-enrolled with Pusat Bahagia on the same day, with JAPEM monitoring his situation since then.

He had previously been studying at the centre until April 2013 under its Recovery in Community (PDM) programme before he was seen “begging” on the streets of Kuala Belait town.

“He complained that he was bored, so he dropped out of the programme. However, we have convinced him that with the new teachers and enrolled under the new Guidance Class for Special Needs programme, he would enjoy learning again,” said Noridah.

JAPEM said the man is comfortable in his current classes where he is learning handicrafts. He also reported being happy joining the centre’s recent picnic outing.

“He was never a danger to the public as he does not disturb them. His home is nearby and in the past, after classes, he would wander around,” explained the JAPEM head.

The Brunei Times