Agenda Daily

Pemadam can be active again

The Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) can revive and make itself relevant again.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who served as Pemadam vice-president for 12 years, said the Home Ministry was right to appoint someone within its ambit to chair the group to eradicate drug addiction problems.

Congratulating Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed on being picked as the new Pemadam chief, Lee said the group could be active once more.

“Pemadam was once in the forefront of campaigning against drug abuse, but I believe that because of funding issues, it has not been active in championing its cause,” he said yesterday.

“It is appropriate that the post is taken up by someone from the ministry as the battle against drugs requires the involvement of the police, the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK), and the prisons, which are all under the ministry’s jurisdiction.”

Lee said the government should give annual grants to the group to carry out awareness campaigns against drug abuse.

“Back then we used to carry out fundraising activities and received contributions for programmes that helped put the message across to the public, especially parents,” he said.

“Pemadam is one of the oldest non-governmental organisations operating nationwide. I hope the new appointment will help it to chart out a strategy to reactivate the group.”

Since Pemadam had no enforcement power and rehabilitation was under the jurisdiction of the AADK, Lee said Pemadam played a crucial role in preventing drug abuse by going to the ground and engaging with the public.

He said that with the rising number of illicit drug use, particularly among youths, awareness campaigns were important to stop the problem from deteriorating.

“Pemadam must conduct more public talks, go to places of worship, and engage with parents, in order to tackle the issue,” he said.

“Most drug abuse cases involve people between the age of 15 and 35 years, and some are also responsible for the increase of crime in the country.”

Nur Jazlan will be replacing Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Baharum, who headed the group since November 2007.-27/12/2016

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