BY CRYSTAL WONG
KUCHING: Members of the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development (KWKPK) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) have been urged to play their respective roles in the strategic collaboration of two social case studies.
Unimas vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi said the case studies entitled ‘Drug Use Among Secondary School Students in Sarawak’ and ‘A Comprehensive Study on the Causative Factors Leading to Stateless Children in Sarawak’, will facilitate in the state’s efforts to mitigate such problems.
“Drug abuse among secondary school students is an issue that increases anxiety and irritability among parents and society.
“For us to point fingers at a certain party is not the best in dealing with this issue more effectively,” he said in his opening speech during the memorandum of agreement (MoA) signing ceremony between the state government, represented by KWKPK, and Unimas Holdings Sdn Bhd at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.
He said children affected by the issue of statelessness in Sarawak are deprived of access to free and subsidised benefits, as well as exposure to multiple social issues and exploitation.
“Hence, there is a need for a comprehensive research involving multiple stakeholders to address the profile, trend, causes, effects and integrated strategies actions to mitigate this problem.
“The stateless children also hold the right to have education as well as development in Sarawak. However, due to many constraints faced, these children would be left behind and that could cause an impact on long-term human capital development planning by the state government,” he said.
He also noted that researchers from Unimas could use this opportunity as it can build a network that can connect Unimas with other ministries as well as agencies in Sarawak.
“I believe that this cooperation is an important agenda that can help all parties understand this very sensitive issue.
“I always support the involvement of research colleagues from Unimas in helping to realise the aspiration of the ministries in formulating programmes and activities as well as policies that are appropriate for this target group.
“This will help to benefit the development of human capital in Sarawak,” he said.