KUCHING, Sept 12 — Schools in Sarawak are relatively free of the drug scourge but the authorities are still keeping a close eye on students to prevent potential substance abuse.
A total of 247 students tested positive for drug abuse over the past years, state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said today.
“Although the total number of students involved in drug abuse is very small, we are also very concerned,” he told reporters after chairing the state Anti-Drugs Abuse Association of Malaysia coordinating committee here.
He said the students were found to have traces of drugs in their urine samples during random checks in schools throughout the state.
Karim said that the authorities have taken action to curb the problem quickly, including nabbing “moles” or the go-between between students and drug peddlers.
“Among the moles were a few students and even a teacher, who have also been nabbed by the police,” he said.
Karim dismissed claims that the drug abusers are confined to a particular community in Sarawak, stressing that it cut across the board.
“It has nothing to do with race or religion and those found involved are also from the rural and urban areas,” he said.
He said the coordinated and integrated efforts by the police, school authorities, village security and development committees and community leaders have succeeded in containing the spread of drug abuse in the state.
“Among the states in Malaysia, we are at the bottom three in the number of drug abusers,” he said, adding most of them are addicted to synthetic drugs which are brought in from outside.
He said the state government wants to see that the drug menace does not go out of control in Sarawak.
“We are not at the chronic stage, but we are also on the watch out for the drug menace,” he said.