Francis: No syndicate distributing free drugs to students in Sarawak

Datuk Francis Harden Hollis (tengah) ketika sidang media laporan bulanan One stop Centre bagi Menangani Isu Dadah dan Substance (MIDS) di Kuching.

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KUCHING, July 23: Assistant Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Francis Harden Hollis has refuted a news report indicating that there were syndicates distributing drugs for free to school students in Sarawak.

He was responding to a news report published on July 21 headlined “Menteri Muda Sarawak dedah sindiket edar dadah percuma untuk pelajar” (Sarawak Assistant Minister exposes syndicate distributing drugs for free to students).

“The information shared during the press conference (done virtually) on the One Stop Committee (OSC)’s Monthly Report on drug and substance abuse (MIDS) on July 21 has been wrongly interpreted.

“I wish to clarify that there are no ‘syndicates’ supplying drugs for free to school students in Sarawak,” he said in a statement issued today.

Francis clarified that the cases indicated after the press conference happened in other states such as in a previous press statement on ’40 individuals identified distributing drugs to students’ issued on Nov 19, 2020.

He thus called on all parties to continue to work together and collaborate in preventing and combating drug and substance abuse activities in Sarawak.

“Under the OSC for MIDS in Sarawak, a standard operating procedure (SOP) involving school students in drug abuse activities related to drug distribution to school children has been enforced on Jan 18, 2019.

“With the enforcement of this SOP, more detailed investigations can be conducted in school grounds,” he explained.

Through the SOP, Francis emphasised that several special procedures involving the handling of drug dealers have been enhanced to identify individuals who distribute drugs to school children or students.— DayakDaily