Drug abuse main cause

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: Seventy-three percent of domestic violence cases reported during the movement control order (MCO) period in the state had resulted from drugs abuse.

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said there were 104 cases in Jan this year, 80 cases in Feb, 60 cases in March and 66 cases in April bringing the total to 310 as against 165 during the same period last year.

“There is an increase in domestic violence cases in the state this year as compared to last year.

“The reason could be due to the MCO,” she said when presenting grants to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at Wisma Kebajikan, Petra Jaya yesterday.

Fatimah said as such there was a need for active involvement of NGOs to assist the ministry in the areas of mental health, domestic violence, as well as drug and substance abuse.

“To improve the wellbeing of the community in Sarawak and for post-Covid activity this year, there are three NGOs which are our strategic partners in addressing the issue of mental health — Sarawak Mental Health Association, Organisation for Addiction Prevention Treatment and Rehabilitation (OAPTAR) in drug and substance abuse, and Sarawak Woman for Women Society (SWWS) in domestic violence and child safety,” she said.

She added that the ministry was committed in addressing the issue of drug and substance abuse because drug was the country’s number one enemy and related to other social problems.

“Besides that, my ministry is also committed in addressing mental health issues as the prevalence of rural and children’s mental health issues in Sarawak is highest in Malaysia as reported by the National Health Morbidity Study for 2015 and 2017,” she said.