Thursday, August 11

Outreach programme for community leaders Dec 8

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Datuk Richard Riot

SERIAN: About 500 community leaders from 50 villages in Serian parliamentary constituency will attend an outreach programme at Kampung Mentung Meraau, 70 km from here on Dec 8.

According to Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem, the objective of the programme, which is organised by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is to let community leaders, civil servants and their department heads know the main responsibilities of the ministry, especially on human trafficking or enslavement and drug trafficking.

He said the targeted groups were villages bordering Indonesia in Serian (Tebedu) and Bau (Serikin).

“Our main objectives are to drum awareness on the increasing cases of human (child) trafficking and the danger of being used as drug mule for drug trafficking which in most cases involve neighbouring countries as transit points before moving to third country,” Riot informed The Borneo Post after meeting community leaders from Serian parliamentary constituency at his office yesterday.

He stressed that his ministry was concerned about the increasing cases of human trafficking which he said was unheard of 10 years ago.

Quoting the Paris Pact initiative, a framework for cooperation in controlling trafficking in which Malaysia is a partner, the Serian MP added: “In all our activities, we are working closely with the government to ensure that we reverse the worrying trends in the increasing drug and human trafficking involving young women and children. And we are taking serious drastic action by making this drug issue a national priority and to develop shared responsibility across all branches of government, globally.”

On the outreach programme, he said the activities would be carried out in a leisurely way, starting with talks in the morning and a telematch in the afternoon.

“We are expecting a big turnout so the activities that are planned which also include a concert at night are to cater for the older community leaders and the youth,” he added.

The event will also involve other government agencies such as National Drug Agency (ADK), Fire and Rescue Services Department (Bomba), Armed Forces, Medical Department, Police, State Secretary’s Office and Resident’s and District Office who will put their exhibition booths.

On another note, Riot also revealed that another outreach programme would be simultaneously held at Pullman Hotel, Kuching from Dec 7 to 10 for government servants and heads of departments from Kuching Division.