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Tackling the drug menace demands national will

Psychoactive Drugs - Photograph: Wikipedia

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We need all segments of society to join hands to deal with this disaster, writes JD Lovrenciear.

The largely hidden truth is, drug smuggling and addiction has swelled in the country to an alarming degree.

The occasional news reports on police hauls and drug busting may appear like we are winning the war.

But as Inspector General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said in July, the country’s drug problem was worsening (FMT, 4 Sept 2019). Malaysia, he warned, could become a major source of narcotics. “If we do not check (this) now, we could lead the way just like Colombia.”

How many NGOs, civil society groups, activists and religious organisations took this revelation seriously? The growing number of unemployed youths and businessmen who are bent on reaping huge, unaccounted profits, coupled with a shortage of law enforcers, has allowed the drug menace to flourish.

State governments are unwilling to own up to reality. Instead, some politicians resort to using religion and race rage as the painted canvas to bury the ugly reality.

Meanwhile our lawmakers are too busy trying to remain in power or vying for power.

Many of our politicians are announcing or peddling all kinds of mantras promising development and progress. Likewise those in opposition are making all sorts of allegations to regain political power.

In essence, we have been losing this war on drugs as Malaysia may be seen as safe haven for the transit of drugs. And the drug addicts and smugglers show no signs of going away. Yes, becoming a Columbia is not far-fetched.

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And certainly we do not have the type of leadership either to tackle the drug menace.

Those who parade as guardians of national sovereignty and beat drums claiming certain Malaysian political parties are threatening and undermining race, religion and royalty are doing us a real disservice.

They need to step out from their power bases and acknowledge that the real threat is from drug traders.

We need to openly admit the true state of the problem. We need all segments of society to join hands to deal with this disaster. We need to commit more of our national wealth and budget to tackle the root causes of the problem.

You cannot sustain a developed or developing nation status with mortar and money alone. You need to have a citizenry that is free of the drug menace.

Are our people and the government ready?

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