KOTA KINABALU, April 1 — The number of drug addicts nationwide has increased by 18 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year, a fact that prompted the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) to urge the society to intensify war on drugs.
MCPF executive council member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said drugs remained Malaysia's number one enemy and as such, he called on the people to play an active role in making Malaysia a drug-free country.
“Last year, the number of drug addicts was recorded at 25,992, in which 18,440 were new addicts .
“Of the total number, male drug addicts made up 24,926, while 996 were female drug addicts,” he told reporters after attending the Sunday Family Ride programme here today.
With about 80 per cent of the drug addicts aged between 13 to 40, Lee said there was an urgent need for the society to come together to combat the drug menace.
He also called on family members, especially parents, to get involved in their children’s lives and to monitor their activities to ensure that they would not fall victim to drug abuse.
“Drug awareness campaigns have become very important as it can help improving the society's level of awareness on drugs.
“Not only that, programmes such as Sabah's Sunday Family Ride could promote healthier ways to manage stress, like taking part in recreational activities, instead of resorting to drugs,” he said.
Lee also noted that Penang, Kelantan and Kedah recorded the highest number of drug addicts at 3,884; 3,700; and 2,655 respectively, while Putrajaya recorded the lowest number of 38 drug addicts last year.
According to him, the most abused drug throughout 2017 was methamphetamine or locally known as syabu.
Meanwhile, Sabah Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid said while the state government and relevant authorities worked hard as a team to weed out drug abusers in Sabah, there was a concern on new trends of drug abuse that only the society could help prevent before matters worsened.
She claimed that since early last year, there was a possibility that authorities could not detect the presence of drug in addicts because of the use of multiple synthetic drugs.
“So, I call on all parents to check their children's belongings and school bags. Don't keep saying that you have been busy with work as an excuse not to be aware of what your children do.
“We do not want to find young drug addicts who say that they got into the problem because their parents never cared about them,” she said.
The Sunday Family Ride programme was launched by Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, who also flagged off 451 cyclists taking part in the 66-km ride from Likas Bay (Teluk Likas) here to Salut near Sepanggar in conjunction with the programme.
Various activities were also held during the programme, including health screening and exhibitions on drug awareness. — Bernama