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KOTA KINABALU, Jan 29, 2016:

A state lawmaker is concerned about a recent revelation that children who grew up on the streets in the city are growing up to be masterminds of crime activities.

Likas assemblyman Junz Wong was referring to Kota Kinabalu Police Chief Assistant Commissioner M. Chandra’s recent statement that masterminds of recent crime cases in the city could be former street kids.

While congratulating the police for their quick action in solving crime cases in the city, Wong however said that the perennial problems of stateless street kids had escalated to a new alarming height of social and security problems.

“It was reported that these suspects grew up in the streets of Kota Kinabalu, thus are knowledgeable about their surroundings and had become very familiar with the city layout.

“In other words, all these cases were well planned and no longer random crimes. The suspects would stalk their potential victims to look for opportunities to commit crime using the vehicles they have stolen as reported,” he said in a statement, today.

He said there is no data on the number of street children in the city, but regarded the figure as large.

The DAP Sabah secretary said Sabahans expect nothing less than a concrete practical solution to deal with the “street kids” issue, and urged the government to act and find a solution to the problem.

“Please don’t give excuses and regarded it as another isolated case because every Sabahan is aware of the problem, including that of stateless street kids, and how it is related to potential social ills,” Wong said.

He believes that the Sabah Government could set up a special committee to study in-depth the impacts and the extent of the “stateless” street kids problem and also the alternative solutions.

The government could not turn a blind eye to this problem, he said, adding that instead of dishing out money in schemes like Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) and other poorly veiled schemes designed to “fish for votes”, the government needed to create jobs and also train people with skills which could help transform their lives and the country.

“I urge the relevant ministries to set up a committee with a sense of urgency to look into this issue seriously.

“I am sincerely worried over the issue and something quick must be done before this problem escalates and leads to bigger social problems. If it is not contained, this problem will not only be confined to KK City, but also other districts in Sabah,” he said.

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