| Azlan Othman |
IN THE uphill battle against drug abuse, it is sometimes necessary to mind the business of others.
This is especially so with “people living in our village – particularly if they are involved in drugs. We must become busybodies with regard to what is happening around us,” said Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Senior Officer Pg Hj Alli bin Pg Samsuddin.
He made this call on Mukim Lumapas residents during the ‘Monitor our Children’ programme, a community project conducted by the Information Department yesterday at the Sungai Kebun Sports Complex Hall.
“It is better to arrest one perpetrator involved in trafficking or drug misuse, before it poisons hundreds or thousands of innocent victims. If a village is peaceful and drug-free, so too is the nation,” he added.
Drugs like ‘syabu’ can bring about mental illness. To date, the Sultanate has recorded 30 people suffering from syabu-related mental illness.
“In one incident, a person under the influence of drugs became violent, daring even to cut off his genitals,” he explained.
He also urged parents to monitor the activities of their children, particularly if they spend hours in their room logged on to the Internet. The dangers cited included international drug syndicates looking to bait innocent victims into becoming drug mules.
To date, five Bruneians have fallen victims to international drug syndicates that promised better job offers and handsome cash rewards during online chats. They are serving time in Australia, China and Chile.
“If our children are offered attractive jobs overseas with big salaries when they only hold lower qualification certificates, we as parents must investigate. Talk to them before they make the journey to avoid having them fall into a trap.
“At the Brunei International Airport, we have successfully stopped 20 to 30 locals from becoming drug mules,” he explained.
He later urged villagers to inform the bureau of any drug misuse activities, explaining that the informant’s identity will be kept confidential.
In an earlier speech, Acting Head of Nationalism and Community of the Information Department, Hj Dayang bin Hj Kasim noted that our youth is a priceless asset to the nation. Them engaging in drug-related activities will undoubtedly spell trouble for the country.
Drug misuse is becoming an alarming trend in the Sultanate. Freeing the nation from such menace would lessen the burden of the nation in terms of rehabilitation cost.
Hj Dayang later urged parents to spend more time with their children, talk to them during meals, strengthen their Islamic teachings and nurture decent norms and virtuous deeds.
Present as chief guest at the event was Penghulu of Mukim Lumapas Hj Bakar bin Mansor.