DEALERS are selling ketum leaves via private groups on social media, and delivering them directly to homes during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kosmo! reported.
This is the latest tactic used to avoid roadblocks and enforcement by the authorities.
The dealers would use private Facebook groups with names such as “Pohon Ketum” and “Encik Ketum”, which could only be accessed by approved members.
Based on a check done by the daily, many buyers would place their orders in the comments section, saying that stock was hard to come by during this period.
While the planting of ketum trees is not a crime, doing this on a commercial scale – including picking and processing the leaves – is an offence under the Poisons Act.
Ketum leaves are boiled to produce a drink that is usually packed in small packets for sale to drug addicts.
It is understood that the delivery centre is based in Perak and the goods can be sent to any state, except to Sabah and Sarawak.
According to a source, due to the low supply of ketum leaves, the price has increased to RM90 per kg.
“Previously, it was only between RM20 and RM30 per kg but now, it has gone up. Although the price is high, many choose this method as it is less risky,” added the source.
> The daily also reported popular actress Elfira Loy saying that her life has improved after the “dark episode” where she called off her engagement to singer Sufian Suhaimi.
“The lowest moment for me was when my engagement was cancelled. I was heavily criticised amid speculation, but I chose to remain quiet.
“However, that is also the moment that made me appreciate because although I was looked down by the public, it made me return to Allah,” she said during a livestream on her Facebook page.
Elfira, whose real name is Nurul Elfira Loy Ahmad Sabri, 27, said due to the incident, she began to take part in more religious activities.
“I go to the mosque almost every day. Perhaps that is the positive side that is shown by Allah,” she said.
“I am happy to be given that challenge and make me return to Him.”
In 2018, her mother, Filzah Yusoff, confirmed that Elfira’s engagement had been called off after months of rumours about the couple’s rocky relationship.
● The above article is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with this ' >'sign, it denotes a separate news item.