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KUCHING, Feb 12: The Home Ministry will come down hard on drug abuse in Sarawak, which has recorded the highest number of secondary school students found positive for drugs in the country as at October last year.
According to Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, this assurance was given by Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders called on him in Putrajaya recently.
“Recently, it was revealed that Sarawak recorded the highest number of secondary school students found positive for drugs in the country as at October 2018. There has been a growing trend leaning towards the use of methamphetamine, which accounted for 61 per cent of those who tested positive for the substance,” Dr Yii said in a statement today.
He said there had been cases affecting youths, especially those in the rural areas, as many of these students were often influenced by their peers as well as the lack of awareness of the adverse effects of these drugs.
“The minister again responded positively and affirmed again the need to come down hard on the issues of drug abuse not just in Sarawak but also nationwide. We will then have more follow-up meetings with the said ministry to monitor and see through the implementation of new policy direction of the issues that were discussed,” he said.
On another issue, Dr Yii said PH Sarawak was working closely with the Home Ministry to address the issue of stateless children in the state in order to work out a more effective policy direction and Standard Operating Procedure(SOP) for this category children to apply for citizenship.
He said their delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen, highlighted the urgency of resolving the issues of stateless children in Sarawak as well as other categories of applications to obtain proper ICs in the state.
“There are different categories to the issue of obtaining proper ICs or citizenship. We discussed the process of registration under Article 15(a) of the Federal Constitution, where the federal government may, in such special circumstances as it thinks fit, cause any person under the age of 21 to be registered as a citizen, especially in the case of adoption or children born before the registration of marriage by their parents.
“The discussion also includes the application for citizenship under Article 19 for those above 21-years-old and Article 15(2), where one of the parents is a citizen,” said Dr Yii.
He pointed out that currently, there is already a task force in Sarawak, but the result had been less than encouraging and the issue still continued to persist.
“That is why we are pushing for greater urgency and a better SOP to not just make it more convenient for the public to apply if they have a legitimate reason to do so but also to lessen the processing time of the application,” he said.
Dr Yii said they also discussed the need to make the application process more transparent so that the applicants would be informed on the reasons when a rejection is given.
“This is important so that the applicants will know how to proceed next and prepare better for the next application. Currently, once a rejection notice is served, there is no reasoning given for all the rejections, and this has caused much confusion and inconvenience for the applicants, especially if they were to apply again as they do not know what to do differently in their application or which document is missing or incomplete,” he said. — DayakDaily