Action plan needed to lessen incidences of youths abusing drugs, committing crimes

Lee (white shirt, giving double thumbs-up) posing for a group photo with the programme’s participants.

MIRI, August 8: Sarawak must have in place an integrated intervention plan to address the pressing issue of youths abusing drugs and committing crimes, cautioned Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin.

Speaking at a community dialogue session on social issues (property crimes) at Dewan Datuk Permaisuri Permyjaya here this afternoon, he said according to police statistics, between 30 and 40 per cent of property crimes reported last year were drug-related. Based on a study by the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF), 60 per cent of crime cases in the country, including petty crimes, were committed by individuals who abused drugs.

“We must be concerned because more and more youths aged 21 have been arrested for criminal offences, including property crimes. This matter has started to disrupt the community’s welfare, even in the rural areas. And there are correlations between the rise of drug abuse and crimes,” he said.

Lee opined that all stakeholders must be involved to address this issue, before it “spreads like cancer” and derails development in the state.

On a related matter, Lee touched on the importance of community-based shared responsibility to reduce crimes. He called for more and closer cooperation between the community and the police on this matter.

“When society has a strong social capital, it is very easy for our community to resolve social issues, such as drugs, corruption, property crime, environmental conservation, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, baby dumping, child abuse, and sexual crimes, including those involving children,” he said.

Also present at the gathering were Miri Deputy Resident Nyurak Keti, District Officer Abdul Aziz Yusuf and community leaders. — DayakDaily