Joint effort across ASEAN to tackle drug situation needed: Masagos Zulkifli

SINGAPORE - Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs (SMS), Mr Masagos Zulkifli said that a concerted effort across ASEAN is needed to tackle the region's drug situation.

He was delievering Singapore's country statement at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam on September 3.

He said that "While Singapore's tough stance against drug trafficking and consumption has kept the drug situation here relatively under control, drug trafficking is a transnational crime and continues to pose a challenge to ASEAN states.

"Alone, individual countries will not be able to overcome the problems caused by the illicit drug trade. Bilateral cooperation and a regional framework are critical to effective enforcement efforts against these challenges."

Mr Masagos Zulkifli also reinforced the need for ASEAN Member States to strengthen collaboration at the regional level and urged ASEAN to work together with national governments, law enforcement agencies and communities to address the drug threat effectively.

The ASEAN ministers agreed to strengthen national programs and collaborate to combat the drug menace. This included the setting up of a ASEAN Narcotics Office in Thailand to coordinate efforts of ASEAN member states to fight against drugs.