MIRI (Aug 2): The Lun Bawang people irrespective of political background must come together to address the issue of drug abuse which has become alarming in Lawas, especially in recent years, said Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian.
Baru, who is also Selangau MP, said he was told that in a recent job interview conducted by one of the major companies in Lawas, only four out of 40 youths passed their interview and were later hired by the company.
“The remaining 36 youths were found positive for abusing drugs based on the urine test that was conducted on them.
“So these 36 youths went back to their kampung and remained jobless and addicts,” he said when officiating at Pesta Bua Kaber, also known as Pineapple Festival, in Long Semadoh Rayeh recently.
Baru lamented that the drug issue in Lawas has reached a worrying state, and said the alarm should ring loudly in every Lun Bawang household.
He disclosed that he would initiate a discussion with Lawas member of Parliament Datuk Henry Sum Agong and other community leaders to find a solution to the long-standing issue that has affected the livelihood and future of the Lun Bawang people, especially their youths.
“We, as leaders, church leaders and all parents must work together in tackling this issue. Our youths are our future, as they will one day lead our nation and this community.
“We owe it to ourselves, our ancestors and our youths to help and mould them into becoming a better person for our nation, especially to our community,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the festival, Baru said it is a platform to promote tourism products of the Lun Bawang people in the highlands to the outside world.
He said the festival, which made a comeback after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was also meant to promote homestay services operated by the locals to boost the people’s standard of living.
“The Pineapple Festival started a few years ago and we had had organised it twice before the pandemic.
“It was started following my desire to promote Sarawak, in particular N.81 (Ba Kelalan) with its products that will help the local farmers,” he said.