KUCHING: Authorities have arrested 901 individuals suspected of engaging in drug abuse activities throughout Sarawak this year.
They were nabbed in 422 operations carried out from January to September.
Of the 901 people, 759 tested positive for drugs.
Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) Sarawak chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah revealed that in the same period, authorities received 222 public complaints regarding drug abuse activities in their areas.
“Aside from that, 1,803 individuals have been place under supervision, as of Sept 2.
“Meanwhile, 111 individuals—108 men and three women—were instructed to undergo treatment at rehabilitation centres,” he told the media after chairing the Drug Eradication Action Council meeting here on Tuesday (Oct 26).
Abdul Karim pointed out that the number of individuals identified by the council for abusing drugs in high risk areas in Kuching was 51, followed by 38 in Samarahan and 44 in Miri.
He added that the council brought up three matters during the meeting, namely non-governmental organisations (NGOs) empowerment in eradicating drugs; drug prevention in Sarawak through religious institutes; and early intervention programme for drug users.
“We hope that parents, teachers, community leaders as well as public and private sector employees work together and ensure that drug addiction does not spread in the community.
“This is one of the hardest problems to eradicate completely.”
Also present were National Anti-Drug Agency (NADA) director-general Sutekno Ahmad Belon, Sarawak NADA director Iskandar Turkee and Federal Secretary of Sarawak Datuk Amir Omar.