New anti-drug policy being drafted

New anti-drug policy being drafted

KUALA LUMPUR - A new policy on the country's war on drugs is being drafted to better combat the social ill.

The move, an initiative by the Home Ministry, is to replace the current policy, which was put into place about 30 years ago.

City National Anti-Drug Agency assistant director Zolkifli Md Dom said the current policy needed to be reviewed to see how it could be improved and made more rele-vant.

"We are holding town hall meetings nationwide to gather feedback from the public.

"We are also discussing with various stakeholders like NGOs," he said after a town hall meeting at Menara Mara here yesterday.

One of the panel speakers at the meeting was Public Service Department's psychology management director Dr Abd Halim Mohd Hussin, who welcomed the move to take a fresh look into the problem of drug abuse.

"I think the key to solving this problem is prevention.

"So, I hope the new policy will have more focus in this aspect," he said.

Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who was also a panel speaker, urged the Government to take the views and opinions expressed by the public and stakeholders seriously.

"There needs to be serious political will to follow up on the ideas given here as well as other meetings for the problem to be handled properly," he said.

The current policy, formulated in 1985, had four core strategies - enforcement to cut off drug supply, prevention through education, treatment and rehabilitation and international co-operation to combat drug abuse.

Zolkifli said the new policy would be drafted and tabled in Cabinet next year following approval from the Home Minister.

"In the meantime, we urge the public to provide their feedback and ideas at our website," he said.

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