Sarawak steps up efforts in war against drugs, substance abuse

Fatimah (corner, right) delivering her winding-up speech in the DUN as seen in this photo of the DUN in-house broadcast feed.

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 7: More aggressive measures have been taken this year to address drug and substance abuse issues, where 275 dealers have been arrested and 426 suspects identified to be tracked in the first three months.

Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said that nearly RM1 million worth of assets from drugs dealers had been seized from the integrated enforcement interventions.

“The figure shows a drastic increase compared to 658 individuals arrested in the prior two years,” she told the august House in her winding-up speech yesterday.

“From 2017 to March 2019, a total of 19,113 cases involving 20,438 arrests were recorded. From these statistics, 145 cases involved 309 arrests under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries the death penalty upon conviction,” she said.

This success, she added, had placed Sarawak Contingent Police Headquarters (IPK Sarawak) in the first place as the most active and successful Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (JSJN) Contingent in Malaysia.

Since 2017 to March 2019, she revealed that the total of drugs seized from the operations headed by JSJN IPK Sarawak and Customs Department Sarawak are Ganja 35.98kg; Syabu 70.13kg; liquid-type Syabu 3,175.6 litre; Ketamine 8.05kg; Ecstacy 27,470 pills and powder form 7.07kg; Eramin 10,160 pills and powder form 0.37kg; and Nospan 14,650 pills.

“According to drugs abuse simulation estimate in Sarawak by JSJN, in any one time, a ganja drug addict usually abused 1 gramme per person; Ketamin 0.2 gramme; Ecstacy one pill; Eramin five pills; and Nospan five pills per person.

“According to the simulation, the total seizure for the period can block abuse as much as 35,950 times for Ganja; 701,300 for Syabu; 40,250 for Ketamine; 27,470 for Ecstacy; 10,160 for Eramin 5; and 2,930 for Nospan,” she explained.

As such, Fatimah pointed out that the seizure of drugs was a big deal because it was able to cut off the continuous drugs supply in the market.