Women-only rehab centre needed in Sarawak

Abdul Karim speaking at a press conference. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: The federal or state government needs to look into establishing a drug rehabilitation centre in Sarawak to cater specifically for women, said Drug Prevention Association of Malaysia (Pemadam) Sarawak chairman Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said at present, if women here were ordered by the court to be placed in a drug rehabilitation centre, they are sent to the Cure and Care Rehabilitation Centre (CCRC) Bachok in Kelantan as Sarawak did not have one dedicated to women only.

“If they are sent to Kelantan, how can the parents visit their daughter? It is too far away, so we need to have a centre in Sarawak,” he said during a press conference at Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites here today.

He said for court-ordered rehabilitation for men involved in drug abuse cases, there was a centre for them here.

As for voluntary drug care centres here, he noted that men and women were placed in the same centre though with separate rooms.

“But personally, I feel that they should not even be in the same centre,” he said.

On another matter, Abdul Karim, who is also Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister as well as Youth and Sport Minister, believed that whether Covid-19 was around or not, those who wished to dabble in drugs would eventually find a way to do so.

“Every day, there are bound to be cases involving drugs, even though Covid-19 is still around. That means the issue of drugs is still lingering; it is very difficult to eradicate,” he said.

He said those who were involved in drugs and are short of cash to purchase drugs would start with smaller crimes such as stealing and then escalate to heavier crimes such as breaking into houses.

“It has some relation. If there is a spike in break-in cases, snatch thefts, and so on, that indicates that the issue of drugs is rampant in that place,” he said.