Sarawak Pemadam urged to tap into new methods to boost public awareness over drugs

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING, Aug 25: Sarawak Pemadam chairman Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah calls on the NGO’s local coordination committee members to double their efforts in creating public’s awareness on the dangers and eradication of substance abuse while complying with the new norm of doing things.

“We are now living in the new normal due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic which had forced us to strictly follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) which include ways to conduct public awareness programmes that are now restricted to a limited number of people during public gatherings or activities,” he highlighted in a statement.

According to Abdul Karim, like any other non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Sarawak branch of the Drug Prevention Association of Malaysia (Pemadam) will need to follow the SOP stipulated by the authorities including the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and Ministry of Health (MoH) to ensure public health and safety.

“We need to keep up with the latest policies with regards to public gatherings and activities in order to curb the spread of Covid-19 which had restricted the number of people who can attend such activities including those to be organised by Pemadam in Sarawak,” he was quoted as saying during the NGO’s 74th Coordination Committee Meeting, today.

On the use of social media channels as among the platforms to disseminate information on Pemadam programmes and activities to locals, Abdul Karim who is also Sarawak’s Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister highlighted its importance due to its popularity among the younger generation who are relying on the Internet as their source of news and entertainment and as a socialising network.

“We need to leverage on the popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube because our local folks especially the youngsters are always on the Internet which provides them a host of convenience in getting entertainment, socialising with friends and even the latest news or gossip via online.”

Abdul Karim added that Sarawak Pemadam’s coordination committee must always keep abreast of the latest trends in organising public engagement strategies in view of the new norm whereby the use of communication technology and the popularity of the Internet must be taken into consideration.

Also present during the meeting was the NGO’s vice-president Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali who is also the Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister. — DayakDaily