Family power key in drug fight: Lee


KOTA KINABALU: The family, according to Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman Tan Sir Lee Lam Thye, has a crucial role to play in the fight against drug abuse.

“It is increasingly evident that family has a crucial role to play in the fight against drug abuse, for it is the first and foremost defence against the many social maladies which confront our nation today,” Lee said in a statement yesterday.

According to him, the power and potential of the family in the fight against drug abuse is much greater and more meaningful than all the might that all the enforcement agencies can muster to control drug traffickers.

He was of the opinion that while law enforcement was essential, it was more important to deny the drug menace access to home and communities.

“And we can do this through the strength and power of the family,” Lee said, adding that like most families the world over, those in Malaysia are constantly being confronted with the serious and growing problem of drug abuse among children and youth.

He said the problem has led to the emergence of crime and violence, and the devastating effects of drug abuse on the family presents the most potent threat to society.

“We must not allow the family, which is the basic and most revered unit of our communities, to disintegrate and fall apart as a result of drug abuse.”

Lee stressed that it would not only be a tragedy but also a catastrophe for parents to see their children whom they have brought into the world slowly and painfully destroy themselves through drug abuse.

Families therefore must be strong to resist succumbing to the drug menace, he said.

“We need to further strengthen family ties, restore and renew the traditional values of obedience to parents, caring and sharing among family members,” he said.

Families also need to play a more effective role in the aftercare of drug addicts through strengthening and organizing self-help groups.

Parents, according to him, must be interested and involved during the treatment and rehabilitation period of the drug addicted children to ensure the success of the rehabilitation programme.

“While we emphasize  the crucial role of the family, responsibility for eradicating the drug problem in our society rests equally on the shoulders of the government, non-government and private sectors as well as our respective communities.”

The government’s efforts to tackle and overcome the drug menace will not achieve its goal without the fullest cooperation and undivided support of the NGOs, private sector, parents and concerned individuals, he said.

Lee also said it is time for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s administration to review the effectiveness of the government’s anti drug efforts and take steps to strengthen its respective agencies to deal with the massive problem.