GENTING HIGHLANDS: To give more bite to its fight against the drug menace, the Government will now fully fund all administrative costs of Pemadam, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government would do everything possible to enhance its effectiveness to battle drug abuse.
We do not want Pemadam to beg here and there for money. So we will provide 100% of the funds they need for administration.
We hope the private sector will join in to help fund its activities, he said yesterday in his closing address at the National Pemadam Womens Second Colloquium attended by more than 5,000 women.
He said the Government wanted Pemadam, the national association for the prevention of drug abuse, to be its loyal friend for life.
Abdullah noted that the Home Ministry had its National Drug Agency and the police its Narcotics Department and believed forging links with Pemadam would further strengthen its anti-drugs combat.
Drugs are always there threatening our people. We need to use the hot pursuit approach. We cannot rest even if we achieve some success because it will then spread once again, he said.
Pemadam currently spends RM1.2mil each year. At present, the Government gives it only a token sum of RM100,000 and the association raises the rest through activities.
Abdullah also voiced concern that 70% of drug addicts who went to rehabilitation centres later lapsed to their old habits.
Of the 10,000 inmates, 7,000 go back to drugs.
Abdullah, who is also Home Minister, questioned whether the society was largely responsible for this by shunning the former addicts and not allowing them a new role in society.
When this happens, their old friends - traffickers - will come back and they (former addicts) will go back to their addiction, he said.
He called on society to be more sympathetic and open.
He said the Youth and Sports Ministry too could play a role by having more activities for the youth because it was found that when they were involved in healthy activities, they generally steered clear of drugs.
He also said the family played a crucial role in keeping the children drug-free.
He pointed out that statistically there were fewer addicts among women, adding that it seemed the fairer sex handled pressure and stress better than their male counterparts
He expressed his confidence that women as wives, mothers, daughters and sisters would pass the message on and the war against drugs could be won.
At the closing ceremony, Resorts World Bhd donated RM1 million and later topped it by another RM500,000 to Pemadam.
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