Time to rethink war on drugs, says foundation

Customs officers seized 3.2 tonnes of cocaine and 0.5 tonnes of ketamine on Aug 19 in Malaysia’s biggest drugs seizure. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s policies on drugs need to be reformed, an official of the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation said today.

The foundation’s senior vice-chairman, Lee Lam Thye, said a special commission should be set up to review drug-related policies to bring about more relevant reforms and changes.

He said heads of government agencies, members of civil society and experts should be on the commission.

He said Malaysia needed a new drug policy that is more effective and comprehensive. He said various programmes and initiatives so far had focused only on arresting and punishing drug addicts.

He said drug addicts should not be seen as criminals, but as patients who need to be treated and rehabilitated.

Lee Lam Thye.

The commission would also have to look into the smuggling of synthetic drugs aimed at young people, including students.

Lee said a recent statement by Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador that drug abuse was at a critical stage showed the seriousness of the problem, as well as proving the country’s failure to address it.

Last month, Customs officers made Malaysia’s biggest seizure of narcotics in two raids in Selangor. They seized 3.2 tonnes of cocaine and 500kg of ketamine.