Thursday, March 23

Fatimah continues homeless ops in Bintulu

Fatimah talks to a vagrant at the Bintulu Esplanade.

Fatimah talks to a vagrant at the Bintulu Esplanade.

BINTULU: Two vagrants, an 11-year-old boy and his mother were tested positive for drug by personnel from the National

Anti Drug Agency during the ‘homeless operation’ conducted in Bintulu town on Thursday night.

The operation was led by Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah who was accompanied by Deputy Resident (Social) Richard Michael Abunawas and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) (Environment Section) assistant general manager Wan Ibrahim Wan Ali.

According to Fatimah, a similar operation was conducted in Kuching last week where they rounded up vagrant children aged 18 years and below.

“Here, we not only found homeless people but other problems associated with drug abuse as well,” she said when met by reporters.

Officers from the Welfare Department (JKM) she said would take appropriate action on the case.

Fatimah said the vagrants issue should not be left unattended because other negative elements like drug abuse would crop up.

“If they are addicted to drug but (have) no money what will happen is, this problem can lead to other problems and that is why it must be tackled accordingly,” said Fatimah.

Meanwhile, she said different approaches would be taken against mentally-ill vagrants and medical examination would be made to determine whether they should be sent to the asylum in Mile 7 Kuching or otherwise.

Senior citizens who have no families would be placed at Rumah Seri Kenangan in Sibu or Kuching while those 18 years old and below would be placed at Rumah Kanak-Kanak Datuk Ajibah Abol Sri Aman and at Rumah Kanak-Kanak Toh Puan Norkiah for children aged 10 years and below.

“As for those aged between 18 and 59, we will put them at Desa Bina Diri in Samarahan,” she added.

Fatimah said the objective of the operation was to provide assistance and rehabilitation especially to the children so that they could build a better new life.

Among agencies involved in the operation were JKM, police, BDA, Immigration Department, National Registration Department, Bintulu Health Office, Bintulu Hospital, Resident and District offices and volunteers.

The operation was conducted at the old town centre up to the Bintulu Esplanade, Parkcity Commercial Square, Medan Jaya and Bintulu Bus Terminal.