KUCHING (Aug 25): Sarawak recorded 3,998 cases of drug abuse and addiction in the first quarter of 2020, with Kuching Division recording the highest number of offences and arrests with 1,499 cases (37.5 per cent), Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said revealed today.
This was followed by Miri Division with 484 individuals arrested (12.1 per cent), Samarahan Division 457 (11.4 per cent), and Kapit Division 59 (1.5 per cent), he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
“The figures were based on information gathered by the Royal Malaysian Police, National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK), Health Ministry and private drug rehabiliation centres,” he added.
The deputy minister was responding to question from Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong on which division in Sarawak has the highest number of arrests for drug abuse.
To an additional question from Ugak on how to curb the smuggling of drugs through the Sarawak-Kalimantan border, Dr Ismail informed that the ministry is aware that the border with the neighbouring country has many ‘lorong tikus’, or hidden passages.
“We work closely with the Malaysian Armed Forces to monitor our borders and to enhance enforcement in terms of operations and arrests.
“We also need the cooperation of other agencies under the ministry, as well as the cooperation from community leaders or village heads to be our eyes and ears and channel information to us so that we can combat drug abuse in our country,” he said.
Ugak had pointed out that drugs entered the state through the border because there were not enough control posts.
He gave example that Sarawak only has nine border control posts, unlike Kalimantan which has 59, which could be reason how drugs could be smuggled into rural areas.