Lee with participants of the dialogue session yesterday.
MIRI: There is a need to address the issue of property crime in the state, particularly those committed by youths, before the problem worsens.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said statistics from the police shows more youths aged between 18 and 21 years have been caught engaging in property crime.
“The involvement of more youths in crime has begun to jeopardise and affect the well-being of the community, including in rural areas of Sarawak.
“The issue of property crime should be addressed from now on so as not to become a cancer in society. We need to nip this issue in the bud,” he said during the opening of a dialogue session with the police and members of the public on social issues here yesterday.
He believes there is a correlation between the increasing number of drug-related cases with the rise in such crimes, and pointed to a study by the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation which found that 60 per cent of crimes in the country are committed by drug abusers.
He added that statistics from the police showed that 30 to 40 per cent of property crimes in Sarawak are associated with drug abuse.
“We must therefore continue to develop our human capital in Sarawak through strategic partnerships involving public, private or civil institutions with social development related interest, and also engage our communities so that they can build their capacity in terms of relevant knowledge and skills required for societal well-being.”
Apart from that, Lee said there is also a need for an integrated action plan and intervention that involves the relevant parties to combat the issue before it threatens development and future human capital in the state.
“When society has a steady human capital, it is very easy to engage in addressing and resolving social issues such as drug and substance abuse, corruption, property crime, environmental conservation, teen pregnancy, domestic violence and others,” he said.