463 people arrested in August for drug-related offences

Fatimah with JSJN head ACP Jasmirol Jamaluddin (left) and Assistant Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Francis Harden Hollis (right) during the briefing.

KUCHING: The authorities are committed to keeping drug and substance abuse activities in check in Sarawak as well as keeping the borders safe.

Sarawak Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah highlighted this during the monthly One Stop Committee (OSC) in Managing Drug and Substance Issue (MIDS) meeting on Wednesday (Sept 15).

“Even at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and the state preparing to move into the endemic phase, I’m sure that the authorities, including the Sarawak Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (JSJN), the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) and the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) Sarawak, will continue their duties as always.”

She also gave an update on the fight against drug and substance abuse in the state.

“Throughout August this year, 363 operations were conducted by JSJN, JKDM and Sarawak AADK, resulting in the arrests of 463 people.

“Of the 463, 57 were involved in drug dealing, 119 for possession of drugs and substances, and 287 tested positive for drug use.”

The number of arrests in August saw a decrease of 28.98 per cent compared to July this year with 625 arrests.

As much as 11,597.07g (11.59kg) of drugs and substances in compressed form; and 34,423 in pill form were seized by JSJN and JKDM with an estimated value of RM926,000.

Fatimah also highlighted that blocking the supply and demand, which are the two main strategies in the OSC MIDS action plan, would stop the drugs and substances from moving in and out of the state.

Meanwhile, she said there were 2,054 people currently undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

“Of the total, 114 are undergoing rehabilitation at the Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centre (PUSPEN), 1,880 are people under surveillance (OKP), three at the One Stop Centre for Addiction (OSCA) and 57 are placed at non-government organisation centres.

“To increase the access to addiction treatment and rehabilitation, OSC MIDS is expanding OSCA services at seven health clinics in high-risk areas such as Lawas, Limbang, Subis, Betong, Bau, Bintulu and Sibu.”

Fatimah added that the committee also planned to establish the Community Development and Intervention Centre (CDIC) in Kuching, Bau, Miri, Sibu, Bintulu, Mukah and Subis.

Besides that, the committee stressed on drug prevention through awareness programmes, advocacy and evidence-based screening in educational institutions, workplaces, the community and family.

“As of August this year, 127 programmes have been implemented by the district OSC MIDS.

“On another note, JSJN arrested five people (three per cent) related to drug and substance activities, a decrease of 16.66 per cent compared to July this year (six people).

“In the same period, 72 people were imprisoned for various offences related to drugs, also a decrease by 1.37 per cent compared to July 2021 (73 people).”

Fatimah also revealed the Capture Based Mapping Related to Drug Abuse and Substance Activities According to District Administration in Sarawak data since January 2021.

From a total of 5,415 arrests made since January this year, Kuching District recorded the highest in Sarawak with 1,415 arrests, followed by Bintulu (474), Miri (449), Sibu (425) and Samarahan (391).