A state assemblyman who raised the issue of rampant prevalence of the drug 'syabu' in his constituency was 'ridiculed' by his peers.
“It is a lucrative business as syabu pill costing RM50 each is openly sold at vegetable markets in Lawas and Limbang,” said Baru Bian, chairman of the state PKR.
“It has penetrated every school and every village in the two districts, and even some policemen are allegedly involved.
“When I raised this issue in the last sitting of state assembly, I was ridiculed by some members of the state assembly,” said Bian, who is the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.
He was commenting on a news report quoting the state Women, Welfare and Family Development Minister Fatimah Abdullah as saying she wanted investigation conducted on several schools in Limbang which are said to be covering up drug-related problems.
Said Bian: “I would like to believe that drug abuse is under control. But let me tell you that drug abuse is not that simple to handle.
“In my speech I told the state assembly that drug abuse had penetrated into my village.
“If it is happening in my area, I know it is happening in other areas as well,” he said, expressing regret that there is no drastic move by the government and all concerned including church leaders and community leaders to tackle the problem.
“I feel that we all should join hands against drug abuse – the government, the police, the church leaders, the community leaders, Pemadam, the school authorities including Parent-Teacher Associations, otherwise we will be going down the drain.
“What we should do now is to form a task force and organise workshops and lectures in every village and school.
“Officials from Pemadam should be invited to share with the young people of the evil of drug abuse. To me, if drug abuse takes roots, it will be very difficult to get rid of it,” he said.
Even cops are involved
Bian said that he was in Limbang a couple of weeks ago when he was told by his cousin that he (the cousin) saw some people coming to an empty house behind his house buying these pills.
“Even police personnel in uniform were seen entering the house. What they were doing in the house no one knew.
“I was also told of a young boy assisting his father in distributing syabu pills which have been inserted into the ends of straws to customers,” he said.
In Baram, the logging truck drivers used syabu pills to keep them alert and awake.
“Its use by the loggers is common knowledge,” Bian added.
Meanwhile, Fatimah said she would find out for herself the true picture about the Limbang schools who were covering up the drug-related problems in order not to tarnish the good names of their schools.
“We need to hear from the other side [schools]. Every month the schools need to compile and send a disciplinary report to the education department,” she was quoted as saying.
Fatimah was referring to a report quoting the Limbang police chief superintendent Mohd Bukhori that some secondary schools in the district had apparently been trying to cover up the drug-related problems in the schools and the school authorities’ reluctance to cooperate with the police.
‘Drugs a serious matter’
Bukhori had told a press conference that he was disappointed with the actions of certain quarters who did not like the presence of the police in the schools, and were unwilling to cooperate and trying to cover up their disciplinary problems.
In a related story, Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong said that students involved in criminal activities, especially those involving drugs, were serious matters and must be reported to the Education Ministry, the education department and the police.
“We take a serious view of student involvement in crimes including drug abuse. All school authorities must give their cooperation to the police to overcome such problems,” he said at a news conference.