Tuesday, September 28

Malaysia says ‘no’ to legalising narcotics — Ahmad Zahid


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not bow to any resolution passed by any world body, including the United Nations, to legalise the use of narcotics, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said any effort to legalise the use of such drugs was seen to be outside the norm as it could give rise to more social problems and crime.

“The Malaysian government will not compromise on this even though there are resolutions made by international bodies to legalise the use of dangerous drugs.

“The government’s stand is that for as long as drug addiction is not eradicated 100 per cent, social problems and crime due to drug addiction will continue to occur,” he said at a news conference after opening the 42nd Annual General Meeting of the Drug Prevention Association Malaysia (Pemadam) here yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid said in tackling drug abuse, Malaysia preferred a holistic approach by focusing on combating drug smuggling, trafficking and production, and treatment and rehabilitation of addicts including through the inculcation of religious values.

Several countries in Europe and South America have reportedly proposed to the UN to come up with a resolution to allow the possession of drugs for personal use.

Earlier, in his speech, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, urged the enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in drug-prevention activities and rehabilitation of addicts to collaborate in identifying more holistic approaches in combating drug production and trafficking, hence helping to eradicate drug abuse.

He said this was because the trend now was producing and trafficking in synthetic drugs which were difficult to detect but which have more detrimental effects on addicts compared to the traditional drugs.

“We must set aside our differences and take drastic action because from traditional drugs like cannabis, heroin and morphine, users have turned to taking synthetic drugs, the making of which can be learned from the Internet and can be produced in a lab set up at home,” he said.

He admitted that combating drug abuse had not been successful so far although various efforts had been made and a lot of allocations spent on it.

He said one of the factors for the failure was because eradicating the problem was placed solely on the government while it required a joint effort involving various parties including the family institution and community.

At the event, Ahmad Zahid also announced an allocation of RM10 million for Pemadam and the relevant NGOs to carry out efforts towards reducing drug abuse.

He said the allocation would be channelled through the National Anti-Drugs Agency under the Home Ministry before being distributed to Pemadam and the other NGOs involved starting next year.

“Hopefully, the allocations would be beneficially used to the fullest as I want to see drug abuse reduced by 50 per cent next year,” he said.- Bernama