JOHOR BARU - Homeless people who sleep inside JB Sentral are a major eyesore and can cause tourists to think negatively about the country, said Malaysian Tour Guides Council president Jimmy Leong.
He said it was common to see groups of homeless people lying on bags or newspapers inside the JB Sentral building.
"Tour guides always try and project the positive image of the country. It is difficult when there are so many of these homeless people lying around.
"It is especially unpleasant to see the groups within JB Sentral as it is a five-star facility which is used as our main entrance and exit point," he said.
Leong added that more should be done to prevent homeless people from lying around inside the area.
"The police and auxiliary police officers should constantly be chasing them away and the local council should also play a part by conducting operations to round them up.
"It is important that steps are taken to always prevent the groups from getting comfortable inside JB Sentral because it will result in more such groups trying to sleep there too," he said.
Leong added that other than the homeless people within the building, the authorities should also do more to reduce the number of beggars and vagrants who sleep along the streets, the bus stops and in front of banks as they also marred the city's image.
It was reported in The Star on Tuesday that a group of people who work in Singapore have been causing much frustration to the authorities by choosing to stay inside JB Sentral.
JB Sentral is connected to the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in Johor Baru.