KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — The Dewan Rakyat was told today that the government spent RM7.9 million between 2013 and last year in rehabilitation costs for drug addicts.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed gave the breakdown as RM2.9 million in 2013, RM2.45 million in 2014 and RM2.5 million last year.
Responding to a supplementary question from Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (Independent-Bandar Tun Razak), he said the government was maintaining its policy to combat and classify drug-related activities as a crime.
Abdul Khalid had asked whether the government could change its policy to classify drug addiction as an illness rather than a crime in view of the substantial rehabilitation costs.
According to National Anti-Drugs Agency statistics, the cumulative figure for drug addicts in the country from January 2010 till December last year is 127,606 comprising 88,597 new cases and 39,009 repeat cases, Nur Jazlan said.
He said Penang recorded the highest number with 18,889, while in terms of ethnicity, Malays recorded the highest with 100,240. — Bernama