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Donors dump underwear, old shoes at collection points

Malaysia may be experiencing the worst flooding in decades, but that has not stopped some people from using flood donation centres as a dumping ground for their unwanted items.

Among the "rubbish" dumped at the centres were unwashed pieces of underwear, old and dirty clothes and worn out shoes.

Some of those who donated such items even scolded volunteers when they were told that their items were not needed.

Muslim Care Society Malaysia secretary, Abdul Razak Mohamed, 45, said he was grateful for the contributions and voluntary help given by the public, but expressed disappointment with the attitude of such donors.

Since the country's worst flooding in 30 years began, donations in cash and in kind have been pouring in for the victims, the New Straits Times reported.

Ten people have been killed so far and more than 219,000 displaced from their homes, local media reported yesterday.

Although the waters were beginning to recede yesterday, more bad weather has been forecast for the next two days.

Intermittent-to-heavy showers have been predicted for the north-eastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

DIFFICULT

Mr Abdul Razak told the New Straits Times at the operations centre in Shah Alam, Selangor, that the inconsiderate donors have made his team's job more difficult as they now have to spend extra time sorting through the donated items to identify the usable clothes. They also have to dispose of unsuitable items.

Muslim Care activist, Amina Tahir, 25, said: "Some donors scolded us and accused us of being too selective, but some understood after we explained the situation and opted to donate cash or food instead.

"Some even returned to the operation centre with new clothes they had bought...nicely sorted according to type and size."

Mr Abdul Razak said that people must think of their donations as their presents to the needy and give items that are still in good condition.

He said: "We have to be more sensitive (to) the victims' emotions after losing everything in the flood."

The centres had stopped accepting clothes two days after they began their operation last Friday, but they are still accepting clean prayer robes, sarongs and blankets.

Mr Abdul Razak said they still have about 50 tonnes of clothes to sort out.

He also said the victims needed food, water and supplies more than clothes.