MUAR: The Johor Government is looking into undertaking effective measures to help save street children who are becoming a social problem for Johor Baru.
State Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Dr Robia Kosai said families, society and non-governmental organisations would also be asked to help expedite the project.
Speaking to reporters here she said the children, aged between 11 and 19, had been roaming the city, including in the wee hours of the night, and that many had parents.
"We have decided to save these children before they are lured into vices, drug addiction or turned into vagabonds and become a public nuisance.
"Plans are underway to even set up special groups of people to help guide, train and advise them towards clean living," she said at a dinner held at the Muar Golf Club here on Monday.
Dr Robia said the state had set up a special committee to look after the welfare of such children besides having teams of juvenile court advisers at all the districts.
She said it had been reported that some of the children had picked up bad habits such as glue sniffing, indulged in wild sex, and some became rape victims.
She said many of the children had parents who did not care for them while some parents did not realise their children’s activities after dark, adding that, these children would leave the house after the parents went to bed.
She said a recent raid carried out in Johor Baru by Welfare Department officers managed to round up about 50 such children whose ages ranged between 11 and 19.
She said since most did not attend schools, the state planned to provide them with skills training courses to equip them with work knowledge for their future.
"We are now calling for the public, especially non-governmental organisations, to give their views on ways to protect and care for such children.
"We have to act fast before the street children become a social problem to society," she added.