KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia is very single minded in its approach in the fight against the drug menace which is considered a threat to national security, said Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang.
He said serious measures employed in the country’s drug prevention legislation were testament to that commitment.
Abu Zahar noted that the severity of punishment against drug offenders varied with the nature and gravity of the offence committed, the most severe punishment being the death penalty for drug traffickers.
Opening the 12th Meeting of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary (AIPA) Fact Finding Committee (AIFOCOM) to Combat the Drug Menace here today, he said: “A lot of criticism has been levelled against Malaysia for employing such presumption of fact in the prosecution of drug trafficking offenders.
“We are nevertheless undeterred as we see the need to resort to such measures in order to curb the drug menace,” he said.
Abu Zahar said Malaysia was not a narcotic producing country and he attributed this to the stringent legislative proscription and strict enforcement regime adopted by the Malaysian government in the war against illicit drugs.
“The lack of stringent legislative proscription and poor enforcement in some of these jurisdictions will contribute to the flourishing of illicit drugs in the region,” he said.
He further said that to have a society free from drug addiction, people in society needed to be engaged in the war against the drug menace.
The emphasis, he said, should be on educating them on the ill effects of drug abuse and the importance of staying away from it.
Abu Zahar said continuous efforts must be undertaken to understand the extent and pattern of drug menace as strategies deemed effective today may no longer be relevant tomorrow.
The June 7-11 event is being held at a leading hotel here. – BERNAMA