BERNAMA – DRUG ADDICTS BILL REFERRED TO HEALTH AND SAFETY SERVICES FOR ADJUSTMENT

BERNAMA – DRUG ADDICTS BILL REFERRED TO HEALTH AND SAFETY SERVICES FOR ADJUSTMENT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 (Bernama) – The Drug Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment Bill 2024, which was tabled for its second reading, has been deferred and will now be referred to two Parliamentary Select Committees (PSSCs) for further consideration.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the decision to postpone the bill, which has been under discussion since last week, was taken in accordance with Standing Order 62 after careful consideration of the views of members of Parliament, in addition to ensuring that the bill is refined and meets the highest legislative standards when approved.

“During this period, we will invite all relevant stakeholders, including parliamentarians, legal experts and NGOs, to further examine and refine the draft law before taking a decision in Parliament.

“I initially envisaged a final vote at the end of this process, but on reflection, no matter how rigorous our efforts are (and after) members of Parliament have provided valuable critiques, perspectives and suggestions, I believe the department needs to give it weight,” he said, proposing that the bill be referred to the PSSC on Health and the PSSC on Security today.

Saifuddin Nasution had earlier said the amendment was aimed at encouraging more people involved in drug addiction to voluntarily seek treatment.

“I visited the Bukit Mertajam PUSPEN (Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centre) and was pleasantly surprised to see that within a few months of treatment, some individuals had memorised several ‘suras’, including Surah Al-Waqiah and Surah As-Sajdah. These people readily come to our facility for treatment.

“By amending this law, we are facilitating their path to rehabilitation. We are providing modules, agents and facilities that meet international standards and have a high success rate,” he added.

On July 2, the Drug Addicts Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment Bill 2024 was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.

The Bill proposes to expand the scope of the Drug Addicts Treatment and Rehabilitation Act, 1983 (Act 283) to include drug addicts and drug abusers, while expanding the scope of their treatment and rehabilitation.

During last Thursday’s debate session, several MPs suggested sending the bill to a parliamentary select committee for further examination. This would involve working more with stakeholders, such as private treatment centres, to identify optimal treatment strategies for drug users.

— BERNAMA


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