Abd Karim: Growing number of substance abusers alarming


Abdul Karim speaking at the ceremony yesterday.

ASAJAYA: The number of intoxicative substance abusers in the state is growing at an alarming rate and something needs to be done to stop it.

In disclosing this, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak was now ranked “among the states with the highest number of abusers” of intoxicative substances, which according to him includes glue, pills, cough syrup and many others.

Although no data or statistics was revealed by him to back his claim, he was adamant that the number was alarming and he wanted greater cooperation from everyone, including law enforcers, community leaders and even members of the
public to combat the negative activity.

“Substance abusers are regarded as offenders, although there’s little we can do to prosecute them for now. I firmly believe that they will definitely go on an ‘upgrade’ one day and become drug abusers (in search of stronger intoxicative substances), which is then a criminal offence in the country,” he pointed out yesterday.

On a brighter note, Abdul Karim was delighted to note that Sarawak was again rated as one of the states with the lowest number of drug abusers.

However, the Assistant Minister of Youth and Asajaya assemblyman feared that substance abusers would become drug abusers if nothing was done to curb intoxicative substance abuse in the state.

Hence, he vowed to fight for items known to be intoxicative substances, such as the common glue used for repair works, to be classified as drugs in the country to make it easier to nab the abusers.

Apart from that, he suggested that the sales of items known to be intoxicative substances to be monitored more closely.

“Some of these substances are however things which we can get easily as they are meant for other purposes such as medication or repair works. We need to come out with a proper mechanism soon to control or monitor the sale of such substances,” he said.

Abdul Karim was speaking at the opening ceremony of the annual general meeting of the Asajaya branch of Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) at SMK Hajah Laila Taib (Asajaya II).

During the same event, he called on community leaders attending the ceremony to identify substance abusers in their respective areas and take action against them.

“Community leaders should know why they are community leaders and never be afraid to take action (against intoxicative substance abusers). If they cannot do it themselves then they should get help from the authorities,” he said.

A talk on drug abuse was held before the opening ceremony, featuring three professional guest speakers.

Abdul Karim was recently appointed as the new Pemadam chairman for Sarawak.