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Drug Menace: Enforcement, Rehabilitation Aspects Should Be Reviewed

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PUTRAJAYA – The National Anti-Drugs Agency (NADA) has been told to review the enforcement and rehabilitation aspects in tackling the no-ending issue of drug abuse in the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said efforts taken in fighting the drug menace had not been fully successful although the National Drug Policy kept changing and improved from time to time.

He said as the prime agency in matters related to drug prevention, NADA needed to be ahead and innovative in the enforcement and rehabilitation aspects as the production of and trafficking in the banned substances had changed to the use of non-conventional methods.

“Although the drug problem is a global issue, we still need to do better to overcome this long-standing issue.

“That is why I have asked the NADA director-general (Datuk Dr Abd Halim Mohd Hussin) to look back at those aspects which are still unsatisfactory or the flaws in the existing system with regard to enforcement and rehabilitation,” he said at a press conference after the Home Ministry’s monthly assembly, here, today.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, also wants NADA to forge closer cooperation with the relevant agencies at the international level to ensure the implementation of more efficient measures to tackle the issue of narcotic drug production which has become increasingly sophisticated, and the trafficking of these drugs.

He said NADA should also revolutionise its actions as the drug production had now turned into churning out synthetic drugs, a shift that could bring more danger to society.

“These synthetic drugs can be produced by just learning from the Internet and because of this, NADA must be smarter and be ahead in every aspect compared to the drug producers and traffickers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid pointed out that Malaysia could not copy or use the model of other countries in combating the narcotic drug menace.

He said the methods used by other countries like the Philippines where law enforcers were allowed to shoot drug traffickers were unsuitable for use in this country in tackling the problem.

“In this matter, I agree with the statement of the deputy home minister (Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed) yesterday….that we cannot enforce such a model from another country in our own country,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia had its own ways of fighting the drug menace including the setting up of the Narcotic Crime Investigation Department in the Royal Malaysian Police which carried out prevention and enforcement measures, while NADA carried out rehabilitation and educational programmes against drug abuse.

He said these two agencies played their respective roles with the assistance of other agencies like the Malaysia Royal Customs Department and Border Security Agency.

Yesterday, Nur Jazlan had reportedly told Parliament, that Malaysia had no plans to allow law enforcement officers to shoot drug pushers like what was happening in the Philippines, as changing the law to allow such action in this country would be against international norm and policy. – BERNAMA

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