PUTRAJAYA (BERNAMA) – Police’s recent success in foiling the largest drug smuggling and trafficking attempt worth over RM2.4 billion in Penang, clearly demonstrates that the Malaysian government is serious in its fight against drug abuse in the country.
The success has received the attention and praise of Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who said such activities occurred frequently in the country’s northern region, known as the Golden Triangle Area.
“That is why our authorities have succeeded in discovering the largest drug smuggler in Penang with a seizure of almost 10 tonnes which is worth hundreds of millions (ringgit),” he said during an interview with Bernama recently.
Muhyiddin also considered the success of bringing those involved in drug-related activities to court as an achievement.
“What’s troubling is the trend among children, aged between 12 and 13, who are not only involved in drug abuse but sometimes in drug peddling as well,” he said.
“Malaysia is like a transit point for drug trafficking, (and) this is not good for us,” he added.
On September 10, police busted an international drug smuggling syndicate after seizing 12 tonnes of cocaine mixed with 60 tonnes of charcoal worth RM2.4 billion from three containers at the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT).
The syndicate which smuggled the drug in 60 sacks of charcoal from South America was crippled in the ‘Ops Eagle’, conducted in Butterworth and Bayan Baru in Penang and Padang Serai, Kedah.
In a related development, the ministry intends to decriminalise drug addicts, in which, instead of punishing them under the law, those who are caught in raids will be sent to rehabilitation centres for treatment.
Muhyiddin said the proposal was currently under consideration.
On June 24, Bernama reported that drug addicts in the country are no longer seen as criminals who must be punished but are patients in need of treatment and rehabilitation. This follows discussions between the Home Affairs Ministry and the Health Ministry which agreed to decriminalise addicts.