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Borneo, Bumiputera Community, Malaysia, Sarawak, Sarawakian

Sarawakians tricked into a seedy underworld of vice and drugs

IT is extremely sad and painful to learn that Sarawakians are being tricked into a seedy underworld of vice and drugs.

Recently we have been reading about Sarawakian women being caught overseas for being drug mules.

The most highly publicised case has of course been that of Beatrice Laus Johie, who will know her fate on Wednesday, Feb 1, when she is sentenced.

In case you didn’t know, she was caught with 1.5kg of heroin at Melbourne Airport and subsequently pleaded guilty a charge of trying to import a marketable quantity of drugs.

This was after she made a plea bargain for the first charge of possession of the drug to be withdrawn.

Anyway, she was a nurse, who claims to have been tricked by her African boyfriend.

Including Beatrice, there are at least six Sarawakian women in overseas jails for trafficking drugs, with the latest being a nursing student from Kampung Annah Rais – who was also caught in Australia.

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Mambong Member of Parliament Datuk James Dawos Mamit has revealed that even young men from the state have fallen prey to similar tricks.

They have apparently found themselves being forced to be drug pushers by syndicates, instead of the seemingly legitimate jobs they were offered.

Among the four Bidayuh men who ended up working for a drug syndicate, Datuk Dawos said one had died from swallowing too many drug capsules in an attempt to smuggle the drugs from Thailand into Singapore.

“I was also informed that they were forced to be drug pushers at night entertainment spots in KL. Now, one of them had died, while others are in jail,” he is quoted as saying.

Let’s not forget that in Singapore, the penalty for drug trafficking is the same as it is in Malaysia — death. This is clearly highlighted on the country’s disembarkation/embarkation form.

Datuk Dawos also pointed out that some of the girls, who thought they were going to work in factories in Malaya, have ended up working as guest relations officers (GROs), where they need to do more than just drink with their guests.

“The night clubs and karaoke lounges in KL are different from what we have here in Sarawak. Our young women who got tricked ended up becoming GROs.

“Over there, they wear miniskirts and skimpy clothes, and men who paid for them can touch them anywhere and do anything to them. This is like prostitution,” he said.

What is going on here? The authorities must act immediately to ensure that the message gets out to all Sarawakians, particularly our sisters and brothers from the villages, to make sure they are not so blinded by the lure of money that ignore warning signs the jobs they have signed up for are not legitimate.

Community associations, particularly from the Bidayuh community — as it would seem that many victims have been from this community, need to do the same.

Surely community associations can help to verify the legitimacy of the jobs somehow, before these young people are shipped off to fend for themselves?

It is good that leaders such as Datuk Dawos are aware of the problem and are highlighting it so that it is not just swept under the carpet.

Only when light has been shone on the issue can efforts be made to resolve it.

Let’s begin by warning all our friends and relatives, and do our part to make sure that the lucrative offers they get are really legitimate.

A report from The Borneo Post

Tricked into vice, drug trafficking

By Samuel Aubrey

KUCHING: Several young women from Sarawak who accepted offers to work in factories or other legitimate jobs in Kuala Lumpur were instead forced to work as guest relations officers (GROs) at night spots.

Even young men from the state had fallen prey to similar tricks and found themselves being forced to be drug pushers by the syndicates instead of the jobs they were offered.

This sad scenario was revealed by Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit, who said there had been many cases involving young people from his own Bidayuh community.

Among those tricked, he disclosed, was a then 17-year-old girl from his own village of Kampung Stabut, who thought she would work at a factory only to end up in vice.

Because of this, he said parents should be wary of job vacancy advertisements offering high and attractive wages to work in the Peninsula.

“The night clubs and karaoke lounges in KL are different from what we have here in Sarawak. Our young women who got tricked ended up becoming GROs.

“Over there, they wear miniskirts and skimpy clothes, and men who paid for them can touch them anywhere and do anything to them. This is like prostitution,” he said during Leader-Meet-The People function at Kampung Garung, Jalan Puncak Borneo, 40km from here yesterday.

Dawos added it saddened him whenever he found out that the errant night spots in Kuala Lumpur had Bidayuh girls and those from other Sarawak ethnic groups working there.

He pointed out that the Tourism Ministry could recommend these establishments and even massage parlours to be closed by the local government agencies if found to have flouted the law.

Dawos’ disclosure of young Bidayuh women working in vice came just a week after he had revealed that four Bidayuh men fell victim to a drug syndicate in Peninsular Malaysia after they were forced to smuggle drugs from Thailand into Singapore.

He again touched on the  topic during the function, and  called on parents and community leaders to be aware of this new challenge to the community.

On the four Bidayuh men who worked for the drug syndicate, he said one had died from swallowing too much of the drug capsules in the attempt to smuggle the drugs outside the country.

“I was also informed that they were forced to be drug pushers at night entertainment spots in KL. Now, one of them had died, while others are in jail,” he said.

The function, organised by the Biperoh Association of Kuching (BAK), was held to enable Dawos who is also Mambong MP to brief the Bidayuh community on new challenges facing them.

Dawos also spoke about Bidayuh young women being tricked into becoming drug mules by their African boyfriends.

After the much highlighted recent drug mule case involving 27-year-old Beatrice Laus Johie from Kampung Seratau, he said a Bidayuh woman, a nursing student from Kampung Annah Rais, Padawan was arrested in Sydney, Australia recently for the same offence.

Dawos added the nursing student, who studied at a college in Kuala Lumpur, was one of the four Malaysian women caught in Sydney for drug offences last year. The others were two Malays and an Indian.

According to him again, such cases could give a poor impression on the Bidayuh community as a whole.

He also felt that the reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg, as he believed there could be more unreported cases of Bidayuh youths being cheated and tricked.

“Those already with diploma and degree are less prone to being cheated but the same cannot be said for those with lower qualifications. So, we better watch out. I also hope the police monitor the situation.

“Watch out if our young women are in relationship with Africans, they maybe part of drug syndicates. To the Rela personnel, if you see outsiders in the village, ask them what their intentions were.

“If your children applied for the jobs in the ads, if their towkay come, find out the background. If you find anything fishy, report to the police,” he said.

Also present yesterday were Kuching Division Bidayuh Temenggung Datu Stephen Jussem, Siburan sub district Pemancha Austin Dimin and BAK president Dr Benedict Poris.

The report from The Star:

Foreign boyfriends might be drug traffickers, Bidayuh women warned

KUCHING: Bidayuh women have been warned to beware of syndicates out to dupe local women into carrying drugs overseas.

Tourism Deputy Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos said foreign drug traffickers had tricked an increasing number of Malaysian women, especially young ones, into carrying drugs to China and Australia.

He said a rising number of foreign drug traffickers were using the Internet as a tool to recruit or trick Malaysian women, including Bidayuh women, to get drugs into other countries.

Specifically, he alleged that most of the women met African men online and later agreed to carry packages in their bags, but what they did not know was that the packages contained illegal substances such as cannabis and heroin.

Dawos, who is Mambong MP, said two Bidayuh women unwittingly became drug mules for their Nigerian boyfriends. Both were arrested in Australia. One of them is from Kampung Seratau and another from Kampung Annah Rais, both within Mambong constituency.

“Bidayuh parents who have daughters better monitor their social activities. If you can, prevent them from going with Africans, especially Nigerians,” he said at a function organised by the Biperoh Association here yesterday.

Dawos said young women were normally targeted by foreign drug traffickers both online and offline.

“Make sure that your young daughters are not easily manipulated or tricked into transporting drugs, especially when money and relationships are involved.

“Also know what your sons are doing; where they work or who they follow looking for jobs in Peninsular Malaysia because they too can be tricked into becoming drug mules,” he said.

Dawos said four Bidayuh men had fallen victims to a drug syndicate in Peninsular Malaysia. They were forced to smuggle drugs from Thailand into Singapore.

He said one of the victims had died from swallowing too much of the drug capsules.

He said the four men were initially offered jobs with attractive wages at a factory in the peninsula, but later forced to traffick drugs as soon as they arrived in Kuala Lumpur.

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  1. Pingback: Don’t fall for the tricks of unscrupulous employment agencies « Parochial Sarawakian - April 17, 2012

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