KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the government will maintain its current stance on cannabis and all drug-related substances as enforced by the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
He said these substances had clearly brought about much harm to society, this despite the 63rd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in Vienna last year voting to drop cannabis and cannabis resin from its Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961.
“The government has targetted ‘Controlled Substances 2025’ as a five-year plan in line with the goals of the National Drug Policy. This inclusive and holistic plan aims to mobilise efforts between the public sector, the private sector and civil society organisations towards drug-free communities.
“Among its main objectives are to clean 155 high-risk areas nationwide, expand treatment coverage to increase the recovery rate of drug addicts, strengthen community involvement as well as mobilise the relevant agencies and NGOs in addressing drug issues,” he said.
Muhyiddin said this in his address in conjunction with National Anti-Drugs Day, celebrated annually on Feb 19, broadcast via television channels yesterday.
He said previously, various targets had been set such as ‘Zero Drugs’ and ‘Drug-Free Malaysia 2015’ in an effort to address the drug menace which continues to be the country’s number one enemy since 1983.
“The government is also committed to continuing to eradicate the drug problem so that it is controlled and can be curbed in a planned manner. The issue of drug abuse is a complex global issue and difficult to be completely contained due to changing trends and the emergence of new types of drugs in the global market,” he said.
He also said that the National Anti-Drug Agency was developing an anti-drug index as a method of measuring effectiveness in terms of enforcement.
Towards this end, Muhyiddin appealed to the people to be determined in playing a role through care programmes and social support system by community leaders to create a safe and drug-free environment.
He said youth programmes should also be organised with an emphasis on aspects of personality development and identity, adding that educational and religious institutions were the best and most effective intermediaries to educate and provide awareness on the dangers of drug addiction.
“I would also like to invite you to participate in volunteer activities under the Anti-Drug Squad which acts as an agent of change in the community. The drug prevention programmes can help rehabilitate individuals involved in drug addiction,” he said.
Muhyiddin also called on Malaysians to play a role in ensuring that improvements in the delivery of treatment and rehabilitation services are fully utilised.
“For example, if any individual or family member is found to be involved in drug abuse, efforts should be made for them to come to the Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centre (PUSPEN) in Sungai Besi to receive appropriate treatment for free.
“The support of family, friends and the local community is very important. It is part of the success of the treatment and rehabilitation process of those involved in drug abuse,” he said.
The prime minister hoped that this year’s National Anti-Drug Day, themed ‘Prevention Is Better’ will give a clear message that the problem of drug abuse can be prevented earlier with the cooperation of all parties.
“Let us work together and strengthen our determination in an effort to create a zero-drug society so that the prosperity and well-being of the people can be enjoyed together,” he said.