Battle against drugs must involve all levels

KUCHING: Drug-related problems need to be addressed by the collective efforts of all sectors within society and not just by the government alone.

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Education Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said the battle against drugs can only be won with consistent, sustainable and collaborative efforts involving all levels of society.

She said be they parents, children and youths, teachers, workers and the community as a whole, all have a role to play in the war against drugs in Sarawak.

Records have shown that drugs have destroyed lives, jeopardised the family institution and affected community well being.

It is indeed a great concern when our students and youths who are our human capital of the future are also at risk.

Ineffective policies, practices, coordination, approaches and strategies could destroy much more, and so let us together conduct the war against drugs or else our state’s well being will be at risk, she told a press conference after a briefing by the state National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) at the Cure and Care Rehabilitation Centre (CCRC) here yesterday.

Fatimah said in combating the drug menace, everyone has to work harder in an integrated, coordinated and concerted manner to create a drug-free society. This, she said, requires multifaceted action initiated at state and district levels involving enforcement agencies (Royal Malaysia Police, Customs Department, and AADK) and non-enforcement institutions (community non-governmental organisations (NGOs), families and schools).

She said the fight against drug and substance abuse in Sarawak was indeed crucial, judging from recent cases.

As reported in the newspapers, a number of government servants and ex-government officials were caught and involved in drug abuse, possession and trafficking; more students and youngsters at school-going ages were involved and a mobile kitchen drug lab was detected.

Aside from that, it has also been reported that more than 50 per cent of marital problems at the counselling stage and on the verge of divorce were related to drugs; an unemployed drug pusher caught in Lawas recently had more than RM1.9 million worth of assets; and drug traffickers from Malaysia were caught in Indonesia, including across the border from Ba Kelalan, she said.

Fatimah said the community could also be the eyes and ears for the enforcement agencies.

She also said police statistics showed that the number of arrests related to all kinds of drug-related offences was increasing every year.

Since 2011 until April 2017, some 32,984 drug related arrests have been made. Also present was Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centre (Puspen) Kuching director Iskandar Turkee, state AADK director Wan Madihi Wan Salleh and chairman of CCRC Sarawak’s board of visitors Datuk Seri Abang Khalid Abang Marzuki.

Source: The Borneo Post