Prisons full of addicts show national anti-drug campaign failed, DPM says

Kenneth Tee
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail attends an anti-drug programme organised in conjunction with Unisel’s open day in Desa Mentari, Petaling Jaya September 1, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

PETALING JAYA, Sept 1 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today the government’s efforts to curb drug abuse is inefficient with prisons nationwide still filled with inmates jailed for narcotics related offences.

Dr Wan Azizah said government programmes have been ineffective with drug addicts still making up the majority of the prison population in the country.

“Data provided by the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) on drug addicts showed 25,922 cases reported last year.

“That is 18,440 new cases and 7,482 repeated offenders reported nationwide in 2017 alone,” she said in a speech during an Anti-Drugs programme organised in conjunction with Unisel’s Open Day here at Desa Mentari here.

She recounted her experience when visiting her husband, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, when he was incarcerated for sodomy.

“I myself was concerned when there were many inmates who were caught for drug-related offences as they were confined near my husband’s cell,” she said.

She said drug abuse was one of the main causes for the rising crime rate in the country, adding that it also contributed to the spread of diseases like AIDS as addicts would share syringes.

As the minister of women, family and community development, Dr Wan Azizah said she was well aware of problems within society and pointed out that everyone play a crucial role in social community building.

“I also urge the public to distance themselves from drugs because it can destroy family institutions and bring no benefit to society which affect the nation’s development,” she said.

However, Dr Wan Azizah did not provide information on how the federal government plans to tackle the matter.

She left immediately after her visit.

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