JOHOR BARU, June 26:

Efforts to check drug abuse must be tackled in a collective manner so that it will not deteriorate and develop into a security threat to the nation, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

In some countries, drug cartels had already existed to the extent that they had their own armed forces who also committed violent crimes such as murder, said Najib, who is also patron of the Drug Prevention Association of Malaysia
(Pemadam).

“If they are not effectively handled, it will spread from a social problem
to a situation that we can describe as a security threat and eventually becomes a destroyer of national civilisation,” he said in his speech before opening the 39th annual general meeting of Pemadam and dinner at the Berjaya Waterfront Hotel, here last night.

Expressing his thankfulness that Malaysia had not reached such a stage as to have a drug cartel as in some countries, he reminded the importance of determined efforts on a collective and organised manner at all levels to curb the problem from becoming more serious.

“If there is a need for love, demonstrate this love but not to the extent of
pampering the children so that they do not respect us,” he said.

In addition, at the school level, there was a need to emphasise
education on the dangers of drugs to the extent that it destroyed one’s faith, the prime minister said.

Looking at the serious problem on the abuse of ketum leaves now, Najib also proposed that the Home Ministry created a Ketum Leaf Act to tackle the problem so that it would not deteriorate.

Also present were Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin as Johor Pemadam patron and Pemadam national president Datuk Wira Mohd Johari Baharum.

At the event, the prime minister launched the Johor Pemadam Strategic Action Plan.

About 1,600 Pemadam delegates from throughout Malaysia were expected to attend the annual assembly beginning tomorrow.