The Youth and Sports Ministry intends to tackle gangsterism and organized crime at the grass roots level.
KUALA LUMPUR: The governmentâ€™s ongoing war on gangsterism was boosted today with the Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin declaring that the ministry would go to the ground and weed-out gang members in â€śhigh-riskâ€ť areas.
Khairy, who is Umno and Barisan Nasional youth chief, said relying on the long arm of the law to tackle organized crime and gangsterism in the country was not enough.
â€śOur efforts need to be more holistic; we cannot just rely on law enforcement. There needs to be efforts to intervene at the fundamental level,â€ť Khairy said in his opening speech at a forum on managing crime and gangsterism in Malaysia.
â€śSo, we must identify the root causes behind the youths’ involvement in gangs. We need to Â help those living in high risk areas and intervene before they are sucked into this gangsterism phenomenon.â€ť
The Rembau MP said his ministry would launch a â€śsocial inclusionâ€ť programme to provide skills, funds and counseling to youths at risk of joining gangs, existing gang members as well as those who had left gangs.
â€śWe can provide them with everything, but if we wait for the youths to come to us, itâ€™s not going to happen. So we ourselves will go to high-risk areas under our social inclusion programme, and rehabilitate the youths there.â€ť
He said the programme would be launched as soon as possible, but did not give an exact time frame, saying that he wished to obtain stakeholdersâ€™ views on the issue first.
â€śIf the youths want a sense of identity and belongings, why are they joining gangs, and not youth organisations? We need to think about this if we want to provide alternatives to these gang members,â€ť he said.
The Sports and Youth Ministryâ€™s fundamental-level approach comes in the heels of a proposal to amend the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) 1959, which would reintroduce detention without trial in the country.