Baru claims cops involved in drug activities in Lawas
10:28AM Jun 11, 2014
By Dukau Papau
Ba’Kelalan assemblyperson Baru Bian has expressed deep concern over the drug abuse problem in the district of Lawas that is getting worse as some police personnel are allegedly involved in supplying drugs to addicts.
“I was told that some police personnel have been involved in supplying drugs to addicts, resulting in the district becoming a haunt for them.
“I want the police authorities not only to carry out an investigation, but also to monitor their personnel,” said Baru (right), who is also the Sarawak PKR chief.
The drugs, he said, came from Miri and Kota Kinabalu.
There were instances in the past when the drugs came from Brunei, baru told a media conference after visiting Lawas for the Gawai Dayak celebrations.
“I am more concerned with where the drugs come from, especially with the apparent lack of enforcement agencies, the police and others to monitor the activities of the addicts and traffickers.
“When I told the police before, they asked me to prove what I was saying. Later I was proved to be correct. I hope the police do not deny the information passed to me, but instead carry out an investigation,” he added.
“There are already addicts in my own community, and I am ashamed to say this, but we need to tackle the problem in a very practical way.
“A few months ago there was a death of a young man who was known to be a drug trafficker in Lawas. He died apparently of drug overdose,” Baru said.
Describing the drug problems in Lawas as very serious, Baru said: “I am calling community leaders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), youth associations and churches to come together to battle this very serious social problem.
“We are organising a ‘dadah’ open day in September in Lawas in order to instill awareness about the drug problems.
“I will get a minister to launch the function.”
He admitted that it would be difficult to wipe out the problem completely, and it might even take a long time to make people aware of its danger.
‘Authorities in Long Bawan share concern’
On his official visit to the Indonesian town of Long Bawan, which neighbours Ba’Kelalan, Baru said he met its district officer and representatives of the army, police and civil aviation as well as medical, education and immigration officers and several community leaders.
“I have wanted to make this visit as I am extremely concerned about the drug problem in my constituency and I have heard that the authorities in Long Bawan shared my concern.
“It is well known that they have the same problems which we face here in Lawas. In fact they told me that drug problem is the number one social problem in their district,” he said, pointing out that six Sarawakians have been arrested for their involvement in drug trafficking in Long Bawan.
“I believe that this is the first official visit by a Sarawakian assemblyperson and I was happy that they were very receptive to my suggestion of a meeting to hear their issues which they wished to convey to our state government”.
Among the issues raised are:
A request to establish radio communications with Malaysia for ease of contact in case of emergencies;
Cooperation in tackling drug trafficking and drug abuse;
Setting up a transport service for goods to and from border towns in consultation with community leaders; and
Expediting the building of a border control post to ensure a proper system of entry and exit.
“I promised to bring up these issues with the chief minister and the state government and I am hopeful that we will be able to establish more formal ties and a cooperative working relationship with the authorities of Long Bawan for the benefit of our people on both sides of the border,” Baru added.