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News Straits Times ( 27 July 1998 )

PEMADAM welcomes ASEAN pledge on dadah

IPOH, Sun. - Welcoming ASEAN members' pledge to abolish dadah production in the region, National PEMADAM president Datuk Seri Megat Junid Megat Ayob expressed hope that the agreement signed in Manila yesterday would be translated into action. "We hope the agreement will not turn out to be just another agreement but a commitment especially from Laos, Thailand and Myanmar." Megat Junid said this was the first time that all ASEAN member countries, including those which are part of the Golden Triangle, had jointly agreed to abolish dadah production and distribution. " Thailand has taken stern action in combating dadah where all the poppy plantations in Chiangrai have been replaced with cash crops, a move which Myammar and Laos have yet to undertake in a systematic manner." "We hope with the agreement, the two countries will work towards replacing the poppy plants with suitable cash crops," he said after opening an anti dadah and AIDS seminar for students of institutes of higher learning in Perak. About 400 students took part in the one-day seminar at the Perak branch of Universiti Sains Malaysia in Tronoh, about 40km from here. Megat Junid said with the recent agreement, especially that one which involved Myanmar which produced 60 per cent of the world's supply of heroin, Malaysia's struggles to reduce the demand and supply of dadah looked promising 


News Straits Times ( 7 September 1998 )

How to go about being free of dadah abusers

STARTING September 1, all newly registered ex-dadah addicts will be placed under police supervision for up to two years. Under the supervisory system, the police monitor the movements and whereabouts of ex-addicts who are required to report to the police station every month. This was among several provisions of the Drug Addiction ( Treatment and Rehabilitation ) Amended Act 1998 passed by the Parliament last December. Prior to the amendment, the police were only involved in detaining dadah addicts and sending them to rehabilitation centres. According to National Dadah Agency director-general Datuk Bakri Omar, under the amended Act, the police - apart from monitoring the progress of the former addicts - would also have to ensure that they abided by rules. According to the agency, ex-addicts are not allowed to leave their district or residence without police permission or to take, use or possess ant type of drug. Failure to adhere to the provisions of the Act will render them liable to imprisonment and whipping. This tough move by the Government is necessary to ensure the effectiveness and success of treatment and rehabilitation programmes. it spends millions of ringgit annually on treatment and rehabilitation but the success rate has been low with less than 20 per cent turning over a new leaf. The majority of those released from Pusat Serenti after a two-year stay became addicts again, primarily due to lack of willpower and community support, and an inability to secure jobs. Compelling these former addicts to undergo two-year pollice supervision will undoubtedly keep them in check and prevent them from going back to dadah. Enforcing the amended Act will entail additional responsibilities for the police force. They must, however, discharge their duties diligently and responsibly so that the number of repeat dadah offenders can be reduced. To ensure effectiveness of the treatment and rehabilitation programme, it is only appropriate that the rehabilitation centres be classified into various categories, i.e. for hardcore, moderate and teenage addicts. There should also be voluntary rehabilitation centres based on the community approach. In the final analysis, working towards a drug-free Malaysia by the year 2023 as projected by the Government requires more than rehabilitation. Rehabilitation should go hand-in-hand with preventive programmes involving the home, society and the workplace. The active roles of parents and the community are vital to ensure that addiction among youths does not become more prevalent.    


News Straits Times ( 24 June 1998 )


OF late, the global and domestic efforts to fight the dadah scourge came into spotlight. On the eve of the next millennium when mankind is striving for a dadah-free world, the moves are both urgent and appropriate as the statistic are overwhelming that dadah abuse is every nation's problem. In setting out an ambitious 10-year programme to fight the menace this month, the United Nation said more than 200 million people use dadah, from glue-sniffing street children to teenage Ecstasy users to hard-core heroin addicts. One of the greatest challenges in the international fight against dadah trafficking has for several years been the misuse of chemical products to make dadah, including amphetamines and other synthetic dadah, said the UN Drug Control Programme, architect of the global move. Malaysia has pledged support for the UN action plan against the manufacture, trafficking and abuse of Amphetamine Type Stimulants and their precursors. In view of the rampant abuse of Ecstasy pills and other amphetamine, the country has made trafficking in these substances a capital offence with the recent passage of amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act. This weeks' announcement that a module to equip future teachers to deal with dadah problems in schools will be introduced in training colleges next year, points to yet another move in the right direction. The subject will not doubt make the dadah preventation campaign in schools more comprehensive. Hitherto, teachers do not have formal knowledge in dadah preventation. at the school and even kindergarten level cannot be overemphasized. Thus the Government's new 25-year plan to produce a generation free from dadah abuse by the year 2023, deserves the support of all. The two-pronged strategy to rid the country of narcotic drugs, from the house right to the workplace requires the co-operation of the whole community. The idea is to have preliminary prevention at the school level with a 15-year target to create a dadah-free environment. The national-level prevention strategy entails having the home, society and workplaces, such as factories, to help eradicate the problem. The oft-heard statement that Malaysia's fight against the dadah scourge remains an uphill battle must not discourage us from soldiering on towards a zero-dadah objectives. Granted that dadah abuse is still a serious problem despite years of stringent laws and tough enforcement, there cannot be any let-up in the national effort to stamp out this blight. Official statistics show there are some 200,000 registered addicts. Last year alone, 17,342 were first-time offenders of the 36,284 addicts identified. That there had been a significant 25 per cent increase in the number of dadah addicts and pushers nabbed by the police and other authorities in the in the past two years should be sufficient to warn us that the problem will grow even worse if we should slacken our vigilance. The active role of parents and the community in the campaign to check dadah abuse is vital if the nation wants to ensure that addiction among students and young workers does not become more prevalent. Of paramount importance is that parents should not be a hindrance to the preventive measures such as urine tests on their children as early intervention is vital for those who may be just starting to experiment with dadah.  


The Sun ( 28 September 1998 )

Report: Drug addicts on the increase

Petaling Jaya, Sunday: The number of drug addicts in Malaysia increased in the first eight months of this year, the National Narcotics Agency ( NNA ) reported today. A survey has also indicated that youths account for the bulk of drug addicts, with most of them being educated only up to primary school level. PEMADAM vice-president Datuk Lee Lam They said that 14,507 cases were reported this year. New addicts account for 9,546 and there are also 4,961 relapse cases. lee stated that Selangor recorded the most cases this year with 2,016, followed by Kuala Lumpur with 1,928, Pahang 1,824, johor 1,620 and Penang 1,457. He said despite the significant increase in Sabah with more than 500 cases, Sarawak recorded the lowest with just more than 20 cases this year. From a survey conducted by the National Drug Information System, it is revealed that more than 80% of the addicts in the country were aged between 15 and 35. The reports also showed that 96.3% of the addicts had at least six years of basic education and 3.1% of them started using drugs while in school. "PEMADAM is viewing this latest statistic seriously since the current pattern of drug addiction is not showing a downward trend compared with previous years," said Lee. PEMADAM believes that the only answer to this problem lies in prevention. lee urged for priority on prevention by all anti-drug agencies. "In this connection, PEMADAM is pleased to note that the NNA will implement the Students' Resilience and Interpersonal Skills Development Education ( STRIDE ) programme in 61 primary schools nationwide this year," he added.  


News Straits Times ( 16 March 1998 )

Dadah: Schools to get ' quick test ' kits

PEKAN,Sun.-The Education Ministry will soon supply schools nationwide with ‘quick test’ kits to weed out dadah addicts among pupils. The Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the kits would enable schools to carry out on-the-spot tests on pupils suspected to be dadah addicts. "If a test on a pupil is positive, the school will arrange with the anti-narcotics agency for more tests to be carried out. "This will confirm the entire result,"he told reporters after opening the Pekan UMNO delegates meeting. Najib said pupils suspected to be dadah addicts will be subjected to the tests and headmasters will exercise their descretion in the matter. The National Anti-Dadah Council which supplies the kits is expected to prepare a guidebook on conducting the test. Najib said schools should not be reluctant or afraid to implement the test because it was only a preliminary test. "The question of the quick test result being disputed or the possibility of legal complications does not arise. "This is because only the result of the second test will be taken into account in determining if a pupil is on dadah." Najib said the Ministry viewed dadah problem in schools as serious but added that the number of pupils identified as dadah addicts was "not that many". "We will continue to implement preventive measures and the quick test has been identified as one of them." Najib said the quick test kits would be supplied to schools in stages from this year. "For certain areas,we may place the kits at the district education offices,"he said.

News Straits Times ( 25 May 1998 )

25-year strategy to curb dadah abuse

KUALA LUMPUR,Sun-In an effort to curb dadah abuse,the Government will embark on a 25-year strategy,focusing their efforts on schoolchildren,in inculcation values and awareness on the dangers of dadah abuse. "Our objective is to create a dadah free environment by 2023,"Deputy Home Minister Datuk Tajol Rosli Ghazali said yesterday. Describing the stategy as a double-pronge approach,Tajol pictured a scenario where efforts in eradicating the dadah abuse would be focused on schools,home and workplaces. The program is part of the Governments 25-year plan in eradicating dadah menace.The Kampung Kerinchi low-cost housing estate was identified as an appropriate scheme,as the similar campaigns nationwide due to the rampant dadah abuse in the area.

News Straits Times ( 15 May 1998 )

Curriculum on the prevention of dadah addiction

IPOH,Thurs.-The National Anti-Drug agency with the co-operation of the Ministry of education is planning to draw up a curriculum on prevention of dadah addiction in schools and institutes of higher learning. Deputy Home Minister Datuk Tajol Rosli Ghazali said the proposed curriculum would include a comprehensive programme on the prevention on dadah addiction which will cater for students from pre-school to universities and other institutions of higher learning."By introducing such a curriculum,the government hopes students will acquire self resilience factors and will not get involved in dadah activities or other social ills,"he added. It has been noted that the dadah addicts usually pick up their habits during their school days. Tajol said after the closing ceremony of a colloquium on Self Resilience Development for 195 Form Two students from Kedah,Perak,Penang,Selangor and Kelantan at Kem Gua Permai at the 23rd Royal Malay Regiment here today. Tajol said 346 students nationwide were detected to be dadah addicts based on their urine tests. He urged all schools in the country to give priority to the drawing up of comprehensive educational programmes on the prevention of dadah addiction.

The Sun ( 29 September 1999 )

538 students tested positive roe drugs:Ong

Shah Alam,Mon: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Ong Ka Ting says the National Narcotics Agency’s preliminary results on the urine samples taken from about 10,000 students nationwide showed that 538 have tested positive. "It is a surprise that of this figure,70% are not from broken homes as popularly believed.In fact,they are all schooling and have a working father and a full-time mother. "The tests also show that 20% of them are without any disciplinary record in school," he said,but added that this cannot be seen as proof of the entire situation in schools. The ministry is also waiting for the test results from the Education Ministry’s pilot project on drug addiction in schools conducted early this year,he said after speaking of the role of JKKK in the Safety of the Community and Country at a seminar yesterday. Ong said Selangor recorded the second highest number of drug addicts with slightly more than 20,000 just 4,000 behind the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. The first 6 months of this year registered 9,526,averaging 53 first-time addicts a day,a 79% rise compared to the corresponding period last year. "Drug addiction is still the country’s no.1 enemy.The majority of addicts,about 88% of youth aged between 16 and 19(8%) and 20 and 39(80%).Out of these 98.4% are males.


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