MIRI: Peaceful settlements in the Ba’kelalan highlands in northernmost Sarawak are seeing a surge in juvenile delinquency.
This worrying trend is believed to have been caused by increased drug use.
Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) deputy president Datuk Nelson Balang Rining said the pristine highlands were not spared from drug menace.
Only two days ago, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau highlighted that youths in the remote Baram district had become the new and easy targets of drug peddlers.
It was highlighted that many gullible rural youngsters were lured into taking drugs.
Yesterday, Balang told StarMetro that the trend not only affected working youths but also students in Ba’kelalan.
“The once crime-free Ba’kelalan is today plagued with an increasing number of crimes committed by students.
“We believe drug addiction is the cause,” said Balang who is also the head of Ba’kelalan PDP division.
“The drug trend raised by Ngau is also an issue here,” he added.
Cases of thefts, break-ins and even stealing of animals are on the rise in many settlements there, he said.
“Some of the youths caught are students, who actually admitted that they committed the crimes to get the money for drugs,” he said.
In view of the urgency, Balang has brought up the issue with the police.
“The villagers in Ba’kelalan have also raised their concern, while schools have highlighted the matter during teachers and parents meetings.”
Balang called on the state police to deploy teams into the highlands to get to the sources of the drug trade there.
Did you find this article insightful?