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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Drug taking rife in Felda schemes, say settlers

Addicts use haunts hidden deep in estates to satisfy their craving and avoid detection.
felda-syabuHULU SELANGOR: Settlers at the Felda Gedangsa scheme in Selangor acknowledge that some of their children often smoke syabu (methamphetamine), a mood altering drug that can cause delusions and violent behaviour.

Felda Gedangsa chief settler, Sahrom Hashim.
Gedangsa chief settler Sahrom Hashim, 62, said the youths would also drink ketum water to get a high.
“They go deep into the oil palm estate to take the drugs,” he said in an interview with FMT. “When the estate workers finish for the day at about 5pm or 6pm, the addicts will go in and stay there until sunset.”
Sahrom Hashim shows a makeshift den used by drug addicts in Felda Gedangsa, Hulu Selangor.
Negeri Sembilan police recently spoke of a rising demand for syabu and other synthetic drugs among youths in Felda schemes in the state.
Negeri Sembilan deputy police chief Muhamad Zaki Harun said statistics on drug-related arrests in the state in January and February this year showed a 67% increase compared to the same period last year.
The president of the National Association of Felda Settlers’ Children (Anak), Mazlan Aliman, said the drug addiction problem in Felda schemes had been around for a long time despite the best efforts of the police and other agencies.
The oil palm estate is a favorite among drug addicts in Felda settlements.
He said drugs were easily available in Felda settlements through small-time pushers.
Drug-taking among Felda settlers has been blamed for many cases of theft and robbery as addicts seek ways to fund their habit.
Sahrom said the addicts kept switching their haunts to escape detection by the authorities.
Felda Soeharto chief, Abdul Halim Sajim.
Felda Soeharto chief Abdul Halim Sajim said he knew of around 10 addicts in his scheme, which has 653 settlers.
He described them as people who lacked spiritual strength. “They refuse even to attend prayers,” he said.
Both he and Sahrom urged the authorities to step up monitoring of people released from drug rehabilitation centres.
Rozita Md Hayat
A trader at Felda Gedangsa, Rozita Md Hayat, said many addicts got the money for their fix through petty theft.
They would steal small quantities of oil palm fruits, bananas and coconuts, she said. FMT

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