Rukun Tetangga can help tackle crimes and social ills

MIRI: Rukun Tetangga neighbourhood committees (RTs) in Miri have been urged to take on a more serious role in tackling crimes and countering negative influence from the cyberspace, especially among the young.

Senadin assemblyman Datuk Lee Kim Shin it was time RTs in Miri expanded their role, having contributed tremendously in shaping a multiracial and multi-religious community here.

He said RTs could now help deal with the growing drug menace, crimes like thefts and robberies, social ills like gangsterism and alcoholism and extreme cyberspace ideological influences that could threaten the communities.

Speaking at a RT annual gathering here yesterday, he said RT leaders and members had become a very important segment for the authorities to connect with the rakyat.

“RTs have been formed all over Miri and Sarawak to unite the residents.

“These RTs function like an umbrella body to provide residents a platform to come together for social gatherings and undertake community gotong-royong and landscaping projects.

“These efforts have been well-achieved and in Miri, we also see RTs playing key roles in helping to enhance inter-racial and inter-religious harmony and making Miri a model of harmony and unity.

“RTs should now expand its role to help the authorities tackle the serious issues of crimes like drug-peddling, drug addiction, gangsterism, alcohol addiction, gambling menace and also the growing negative influence caused by radical thinking that comes from some social media.

“We politicians and government circles need all the help we can from all of you in the RT groups to help tackle these issues,” he said.

Lee, who is also state Assistant Tourism Minister, said RTs in Miri had enabled good cooperation between residents and the police on safety and security.

Through these links, they have been successful in fostering closer rapport among communities of different races and professions.

Miri police, city councillors and RTs have formed joint volunteer squads to patrol the Pujut housing estate that has about 30,000 people.

It has created opportunities for residents and police to understand each other and cooperate closely together.

It has also resulted in better relationship, friendship and solidarity among the residents themselves.

During the gathering, Lee presented certificates of appreciation to the RTs in Miri and promised to allocate financial grants to them if they could organise events benefiting the society.

He said his SUPP office would be ready to listen to their needs and assist financially and in logistics, to help RTs in the city to function more effectively in community development.