Disproportionate number of Bidayuhs undergoing drug rehabilitation

KUCHING: There is a disproportionate number of Bidayuhs undergoing treatment at the Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centre (Puspen) here.

Although the community is only the fourth largest ethnic group in Sarawak, 10 out of the 55 drug abusers who voluntarily sought treatment at the Cure and Care Rehabilitation Clinic (CCRC) from January to June 5 were Bidayuhs.

The others were Malay (37), Iban (5), Chinese (1), Kayan (1) and Kelabit (1).

Last year only five Bidayuh drug abusers were registered under the same programme.

Based on the statistics, 16 patients from Padawan sought treatment at CCRC, while the others were from Kuching (19), Bintulu (2), Miri (6), Serian (3), Kota Samarahan (2), Sarikei (1), Sibu (2), and Bau (3).

Kuching Division Bidayuh community leader Temenggong Austin Dimin is shocked by this increasing trend of Bidayuh drug abusers, which he described as “worrisome” given that Bidayuhs make up only around 250,000 of Sarawak’s 2.7 million population.

Austin urged all Bidayuh headmen, village security and development committees (JKKK), and church leaders to work closely in battling drug abuse.

“Village headmen, the JKKK, church leaders, and parents must pay more attention to the problem of drug abuse in the community, especially among youths, which has become increasingly worrisome.

“Issues related to drug abuse must be raised in every JKKK meeting, while preachers should warn their congregation that drug abuse or drug addiction is a sin,” he said.

Austin said everyone in the community has a preventive role to play in fighting drug abuse.

He added that prevention is much easier than treating drug addiction and warned that waiting until children are
13 or 14 years old to teach them about the dangers of drugs is too late.

Source: The Borneo Post

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