MCPF suggests high powered ministerial committee to tackle drug problem

Veena Babulal

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) is calling for a high powered ministerial committee to be set up, focusing entirely on finding new and effective strategies to eradicate drug problems in the country.

Its senior vice chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said a drastic review of the government's existing strategies was needed in order to deal with the increasing number of drug offenders.

“The high-powered ministerial committee should consist of all relevant ministries, agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It should be led by either the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself or his deputy, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.”

“I hope the proposed committee can find more effective ways and approach to deal with the drug problem from all angles especially on prevention, enforcement, rehabilitation and international cooperation,” he said in a statement here today.

Lee also said that authorities must pay special attention in curbing the abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), also known as designer or synthetic drugs.

“ATS are stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine, ecstasy and syabu which are widely used at night clubs and entertainment centres to provide a ‘high’ for users.”

“The very fact that more and more new synthetic drugs have been introduced shows that drug manufacturers and syndicates are becoming more innovative and creative to attract as many new users as they can,” he added.

Lee was drawing on Dr Wan Azizah’s statement that drug addicts still make up the majority of the prison population in the country, citing a report by the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) which recorded 25,922 cases of drug abuse last year, out of which 18,440 were new cases and 7,482 had been repeat offenders. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd