KUCHING, Sept 12: Two community leaders from Sg Asap Resettlement Scheme have sent an urgent appeal to the relevant authorities to rid the bustling sub-district of the drug menace. They claimed the problem is so rampant that drugs addicts would steal anything they could lay their hands on.
Pemanca Tony Kulleh said in each of the 15 longhouses, the number of drug addicts had ballooned at an alarming rate.
“Most of these drug addicts are aged between 20 and 30 years. And I heard that during a recent urine test conducted at SMK Bakun in Sg Asap, a number of students were tested positive.
“So there is a need for a concerted effort to rid Sg Asap of the drug menace before it ruins our community,” Tony told DayakDaily today.
He claimed there was nothing the local police could do as there was only a handful of policemen manning the Sg Asap Township police post.
“I often heard my people complained that their ‘sawit’ (oil palm fruit bunches) are stolen. And not only that, even their ‘tong’ gas (cylinders) can also disappear,” he lamented.
Tony suspected the drugs addicts had also stolen transformers and cables from the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) in the area.
“I was told that a very expensive transformer from a high-level water tank in Sg Asap has also been stolen too,” he said.
The most common drug sold in Sg Asap is methamphetamine, known to the locals as ‘ice’.
Uma Bawang village chief Edison Duren Lihan, who is currently the chairman of all Maren Uma (MU) in Sg Asap echoed that the situation in Sg Asap warranted urgent attention before it spiralled out of control.
“Like Pemanca Tony has said, we would like to appeal to the relevant authorities to do something urgently before it’s too late,” he said.
When contacted, Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chupkai Ugon acknowledged the concerns of the two community leaders and said to address the issue, everyone must be involved, starting from the family unit right up to the entire community.
“And we also hope the relevant authorities, such as the police, could upgrade their post to a police station so that more personnel could be stationed to look after an increasing population of some 20,000 people,” he said.
At the same time, he would continue to engage with the people and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to curb the social problem
“To fight the drug menace, we must be united. On my part, we will continue to engage with the people, especially the youth, the community, NGOs and religious bodies. This is the only way to fight this drug menace,” he said.
Currently, Kennedy said, he was organising a futsal competition in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration at Uma Badeng.
“This weekend the Catholic Church will be organising a charity run in Sg Asap in an effort to get the community together. And I fully support this kind of activity,” he stressed.
He also disclosed that in conjunction with National Day on August 31, a futsal competition was successfully organised at Uma Lesong, where 32 teams participated. — DayakDaily