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Govt takes fight against drugs to rural and poor communities

KUALA LUMPUR: Fishing communities and those living in Felda, Felcra and hardcore poor housing schemes will be on the drug enforcement radar from now.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (pix) said people living in these areas are considered “high risk” in the Government’s fight against drugs.

“There are 178 high risk areas which need to be cleaned up in the all-out war on drugs,” he told Datuk Abdul Aziz Shiekh Fadzir (BN-Kulim Bandar Baru) in the Dewan Rakyat Tuesday.

Nur Jazlan said the number of drug addicts increased to 30,846 last year from 26,668 in 2015.

Asked if there should be a change in policy because the anti-drug campaign launched last year had failed to reduce the number of addicts, Nur Jazlan said there were changes made this year with police entrusted to deal solely with traffickers while the National Anti-Drug Agency would handle addicts.

He disagreed with a suggestion by Abdul Aziz to reclassify the drug problem as a health issue as was being done in Europe and South America.

“The West and the others have given up on the war against drugs and are taking the easy way out,” he said, adding that decriminalising ganja as a “soft drug” would not solve the problem.

Nur Jazlan said he is aware that this agenda will be brought to the United Nations in 2019.

To a question by Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh (BN-Kalabakan), he said there were plans to consolidate border control under a single command as a way to stop drug smuggling.-thestar

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