A place for troubled youths to seek help

MIRI: The Sarawak government will study the feasibility of setting up a One Stop Counselling Centre to address social problems in the state.

State Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Children Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the time had come for such a centre to be set up as society was more open now.

The state government will study the feasibility of opening such a centre in tandem with the social problems happening in Sarawak, she said during a dialogue session on social issues which was attended by more than 30 heads of non-governmental organisations, community leaders and village heads.

She was responding to a suggestion by a participant at the dialogue for such a centre to be set up to help youths with problems, including drug addiction, who were shun by their family members and relatives.

In another development, Fatimah advised village heads to lodge police reports if they were aware of a baby-selling racket.

“Selling babies is an offence,” she said after a community leader from Sungai Asap, Belaga, claimed there were people selling babies in his area.

Earlier in her speech, Fatimah said 160 cases of pregnancy out of wedlock involving teenagers were reported in Miri between January and September this year.

“We are now working with the Education Department to allow the girls to continue their schooling after they have delivered the babies to avoid drop-out problems,” she added. — Bernama

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