Wan Junaidi worried about alleged prevalence of drug abuse, gambling in Sarawak

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING, Feb 26: Santubong MP Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar is concerned that drugs are becoming more readily available and easier to get in the state, based on half a dozen or so letters he has been getting from strangers of late.

He said these anonymous writers claimed that gambling and drug distribution in places such as Kuching, Bintulu and Miri had become a real threat.

“I’ve just written a letter to the Commissioner of Police requesting him to look into the nearly half a dozen of letters I received, all alleging rampant gambling taking place everywhere and drugs openly distributed in the state.

“Before my letter reaches the Commissioner of Police, two more letters were written and posted to me,” he said in a statement today.

“Two weeks ago, I attended a Chinese New Year celebration and I met a friend who seemed to confirm the allegations in the letters that I had received. In the loose conversation that we had, it seemed obvious that drug distribution is truly openly done in Kuching and Samarahan.”

Wan Junaidi raised this issue when commenting on a daring robbery attempt published in a local daily on Feb 21.

He recalled that the police had been asking for gambling laws to be amended and more gambling experts to be trained and engaged to assist police in their fight against the gambling problems.

“I am not sure whether these have been done or not. There were 6 pieces of legislation proposed to be amended in 2013, but all the 6 amendment Bills were withdrawn after the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.

“I was thinking then that the amendments proposed were a welcome change from the outdated, lenient and incomplete laws of the 60s and 70s for the police and the related enforcement agencies in their fight against illegal gambling.

“But after the Bills were withdrawn from the Dewan Rakyat, they were not heard of any more. I am not sure whether PDRM in Sarawak here is handicapped by what I said as antiquated gambling laws. I do not know,” he said.

Wan Junaidi opined that the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Home Affairs should assume the responsibility of amending these laws if they had not been done.

On the article that was published by the local daily, Wan Junaidi believed the answer was not really that simple.

“I’m not too sure whether drug addiction has any link with unemployment. It has been known that drug addicts are not employable. Not many employers are willing to employ drug addicts because of the impact of the sickness. What is not known is whether the person became addicted to drugs because of being unemployed,” he said.

Wan Junaidi revealed that he had requested a friend in authority to produce the statistics on employment in Sarawak in the wake of a recent statement from MTUC Sarawak’s secretary Andrew Lo and the return of the 40 Sarawakians who were detained in Cambodia due to a job scam.

“The statement from relevant government agencies on job availability and employment in the state is, of course, welcome.

“The big industries like timber, plantation, mining e.g. Petronas and other oil and gas companies, and electronic industry should rise to the occasion to give employment to the locals and with better salary and perks.

“They should not just proudly publish their profits at the end of the year without looking at the welfare and well being of their employees. They are answerable to the state, not just their own pockets.” he asserted. — DayakDaily