KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has made it loud and clear on its non-compromising stance in combating illicit drug trafficking and doing all it can to disrupt the drug supply chain.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said continuous operations by the country’s enforcement agencies had resulted in an increased number of drug seizures and traffickers arrested in recent years.
“Malaysia is also concerned regarding the links between drug trafficking, corruption and other forms of organised crime, including money-laundering.
“In 2018 Malaysia had managed to seize US$21.6 million and forfeited approximately US$4.1million worth of properties related to drug syndicates,” he said when delivering Malaysia’s statement during the Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, Austria on Friday.
A copy of the statement was made available to Bernama.
Muhyiddin also pointed out that while the existing three international drug control conventions and other related international instruments are still the basis for the world drug policy in dealing with the challenges of drug control for the years to come, these conventions allow sufficient flexibility for member states to design and implement national drug policies which fit best to the needs and priorities of each member state in line with its national legislations.
The three conventions are the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
He said Malaysia strictly adheres to the rule of law in development and implementation of drug policies and thus the revised National Drug Policy adopted in 2017 was a comprehensive, integrated and balanced policy that incorporated all areas of supply and demand reduction approaches through five main strategies namely Prevention Education, Treatment and Rehabilitation, Law Enforcement, Harm Reduction and International Cooperation.
Muhyiddin further said that in protecting people from the scourge of drugs, Malaysia recognizes the importance of community empowerment aimed at equipping its citizens with the technical know-how in dealing with the drug abuse issue in their communities.
In 2018, he said, Malaysia conducted a total of 97 Community Battery-Drug Abuse Prevention Strategy (Combat-DAPS) training sessions for 5,525 community leaders in high risk areas.
Muhyiddin said Malaysia also recognizes the challenges in implementing evidence-based drug policy and measures and was consistent with the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document.
“Malaysia will continue to engage in drug-related research to improve the nation’s drug policy and practices as was did in 2017 when the National Drug Policy was reviewed.
“We recognise the urgency of comprehensive and quality data collection and therefore, are continuously improving our data quality and reporting by conducting, among others, a national drug use prevalence study this year,” said Muhyiddin.
Additionally, Muhyiddin said as a response to the rising threat of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), the scheduling of NPS under national legislation will be undertaken as soon as these substances have been detected in Malaysia.
The minister in his speech also expressed Malaysia’s readiness to continuously work with the international community in addressing and countering the world drug problem, adding that Malaysia looked forward to review these efforts in the CND in the year 2024 and 2029.
“I am hopeful that this session would yield practical outcomes that contribute positively towards our efforts in countering the world drug problem to achieve a society free from drug abuse and at the same time, complement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he concluded. — Bernama