PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will not change its control status of cannabis and cannabis resin, as the substances are still considered harmful to society, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Muhyiddin said although the 63rd United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Austria recently had decided to drop the two substances from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 (1961 Convention), it does not change Malaysia’s control status of the two drugs.
“On behalf of the government, I would like to stress that we would not change the control status of cannabis and all drugs related as classified under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, as it brings a lot of harm to society.
“The issue of drug abuse is a global and complex matter that is hard to be completely eradicated following the changes in trends and the emerging new type of drugs in the global market, ” said Muhyiddin in a special live televised address Thursday (Feb 18).
His speech was in conjunction with the National Anti-Drugs Day 2021 themed "Lebih Baik Cegah" (Better To Prevent), which falls on Friday (Feb 19).
The national-level celebration aims to remind Malaysians of the dangers of drugs which have been the nation’s number one enemy since 1983.
Muhyiddin said the government had targeted to go green and control drugs by 2025 in line with the national drug policy.
The inclusive and holistic planning aims to mobilise efforts between the public and private sectors, and civil society organisations towards developing drug-free communities in the country.
Among the main objectives is to target 155 high-risk areas nationwide and widen the treatment to increase recovery rates among drug addicts, said Muhyiddin.
It will also involve community empowerment, apart from mobilising related government agencies, as well as non-governmental organisations in dealing with drug related issues, he added.
“The government is committed to eradicate drug problems in the country so it can be controlled and handled.
“Apart from that, the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) is also developing an Anti-Drugs Index as a method to measure the effectiveness in terms of enforcement, ” he said.
In line with the National Anti-Drugs Day, Muhyiddin also urged Malaysians to play their role by taking part in various social support programmes organised by their residential area committees or community leaders to create neighbourhoods that are safe and free from drug abuse activities.
Muhyiddin said the programmes focusing on youth should emphasise on personality and identity developments.
Hence, educational and religious institutions are among the best intermediaries to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of drug addiction.
“I would also urge everyone to contribute in voluntary activities under the Anti-Drugs squad which acts as an agent of change in the community.
“The drug prevention programmes can also help individuals who are addicts to recover, ” he said.
Muhyiddin also called on people to play a role in ensuring that the delivery of treatment and rehabilitation services are fully utilised.
“For example, if you know any individuals or family members who are involved in drugs, then please try to send them to the Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centres (Puspen) in Sungai Besi for them to receive the right treatments for free, ” he added.
Muyiddin said the support from family, friends and local community is pivotal as it is part of the recovery treatment for those involved in drug related problems.