Fatimah showing the structure of the OSC in handling drug and substance abuse in the state. Photo: Ramidi Subari

DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE

KUCHING: Sarawak views the issue of drug and substance abuse seriously and has now placed it under the Sarawak State Security Council (SSSC), said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah. 

This was agreed upon by SSSC chairperson, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and members.

Fatimah disclosed that an SSSC cabinet meeting had been held and one of the papers presented was on the issue of drug and substance abuse.

“In terms of governance, the issue will be under SSSC as agreed by the State Cabinet. My ministry will be responsible for administrative management,” she told a press conference at her ministry’s office at the Baitul Makmur Building here yesterday.

The press conference was held in conjunction with the One Stop Committee (OSC) report on handing drug and substance abuse.

Fatimah said   previously, the management of drug and substance abuse was under the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development.

Explaining the reasons for the transfer, she said that drug and substance abuse had become a critical issue as it was affecting the younger generation.

“It has gone to rural areas and involves youth and students who are our future generations. Therefore, the matter has become a threat to our security and it has been placed under SSSC,” she said.

Secondly, Fatimah pointed out that placing the matter under SSSC chaired by the Chief Minister himself showed how serious Sarawak was in tackling the issue.

The third reason, she said, was to make it easier for the state government to channel funds to address the issue.

“Drugs should not be seen as a social issue alone. It does affect social wellness but it should also be seen as a threat to our security and safety,” she emphasised.

Also present were National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) Sarawak director Wan Madihi Wan Salleh, head of Sarawak Narcotics Crime Investigation Department ACP Jasmirol Jamaluddin, Social Development Council (MPS) executive secretary Dr Zufar Yadi Brendan Abdullah and representatives from other agencies.