PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has condemned the brutal attack on a resident at a drug rehabilitation centre in Kedah, which resulted in the victim’s death.
MMA president Dr Koh Kar Chai reminded the authorities that addicts should not be treated as criminals.
He said a drug rehabilitation centre should be a place where people who struggled with addiction could be treated by professionals to overcome their habit.
“Drug addicts should be treated as patients, not criminals,” he said in a statement.
Koh went on to say that while rehabilitation centres may be managed by qualified professionals, the wardens carrying out these rehabilitation programmes may lack the required “professional training, qualifications and qualities”.
The government, he added, must ensure all steps are taken to prevent similar incidents from recurring.
Koh also called on Putrajaya to look into reforms needed to manage drug addiction in the country.
“We must first and foremost, recognise that drug addiction is a mental illness and medical condition requiring medical intervention from professionals and trained experts in this area of medical practice.”
Earlier this month, Harian Metro had reported that the 31-year-old victim was brutally assaulted when he attempted to escape.
The victim, who allegedly had his neck stepped on and was “kicked mercilessly”, died on the way to hospital, the report added.
Kedah police chief Kamarul Zaman Mamat said a warden had since been arrested. The 46-year-old man is being investigated for murder.