Bandar Seri Begawan - The second meeting of the 9th Legislative Council raised some vital issues that needed to be tackled. Among the discussed matters include the Narcotics Control Bureau's (NCB) role as an entity in controlling narcotics, and handling of the rehabilitation of residents in Al-Islah Rehabilitation Centre, the current NCB operations in Temburong.
YB Awg Hj Mohd Shafiee bin Ahmad questioned on what further programmes are being offered to residents of Al-Islah Rehabilitation Centre after they are being released, aside from being required to report themselves to relevant authorities from time to time. He also asked the council what form of assistance has been provided by the bureau after the residents have been released, and also whether the bureau has conducted any research on why some residents of Al-Islah are being sent back to the centre.
He suggested that residents released should be given an employment opportunity or a business capital to start a new life, and he believes that many residents suffer relapse into drugs due to unemployment and the lack of income.
Further adding to the issue raised earlier, YB Dato Paduka Awg Hj Abdullah bin Hj Mohd Jaafar highlighted that there has been news on foreigners who transited in Brunei and were arrested for bringing drugs into the country of their destination. He underlined that these occurrences were as if the Sultanate is a transit point for the smuggling of drugs.
He stressed that the capacity of officers in performing their duties is of great importance. "Although we have advanced equipment for detecting drugs, it is not effective without efficient officers on duty," he asserted.
He strongly recommended that training for officers and staff of NCB should be made intensively to achieve maximum skills required to ensure that officers on duty can perform their job well and efficiently. For officers who do not perform, YB Dato Paduka Awg Hj Abdullah suggested that they are to be assigned to another task or to relocate them to another profession.
In response to YB Dato Paduka Awg Hj Abdullah, YB Pehin Orang Maya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman bin Hj Ibrahim informed that training has been carried out and is currently ongoing, and is certain to improve from time to time.
Touching on the first question raised by YB Awg Hj Mohd Shafiee, YB Pehin Orang Maya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Hazair bin Hj Abdullah stated that with regard to residents of Al-Islah, they have been given courses and recent statistics show that since 2005 to 2011, about 113 residents have taken part in the programme and 28 of them have started working and another 15 have their own businesses.
YB Awg Hj Sulaiman bin Hj Ahad later in the discussion raised the issue on the current NCB building in the Temburong District, in which operations are still being carried out in an old building which lacks the space in accommodating officers and staff as well as other necessities. He stressed that the location of the operations is also not suitable, and also asked if there are plans to build a new office and residences for officers and staff of NCB in Temburong.
YB Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman informed YB Awg Hj Sulaiman in a later session that a site has been identified for NCB in Temburong and the project for a new building is in its design stage.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin