In a startling revelation, Sutekno Ahmad Belon, Director-General of Malaysia’s National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK), announced that synthetic drugs are alarmingly accessible in the country, with prices starting as low as RM18, including delivery. The pressing concern underlines the unsettling evolution of the illicit drug market in Malaysia.
At a press conference in Putrajaya on July 10, Sutekno noted that the cost of synthetic drugs varies based on the type and purity level of the drug. “The amount will increase according to the purity. It depends on the drug, depends on the authenticity or the purity. Cheap ones, for as low as RM18, including delivery, have been recorded [by the agency],” he said. This disclosure came after a Cabinet Committee meeting on the Eradication of Drugs at Perdana Putra.
The meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, saw the issue of drug accessibility take center stage. Zahid could not attend the press conference due to urgent matters.
In an age of digital ubiquity, the internet plays a substantial role in the ease of drug accessibility. Sutekno highlighted the role of the “deep web” in facilitating illicit drug transactions. The “deep web,” parts of the internet not readily accessible through standard search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, has become a veritable marketplace for illegal substances.
Through this platform, users can easily order drugs and have them delivered via courier or through communication platforms like Telegram and WhatsApp. “The price is more or less the same, instead of going to the pusher, they can order, place their orders, and send them straight to their house,” Sutekno pointed out.
The implications of this rampant issue are far-reaching. A post-meeting statement released by Zahid showed deep concern over a study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, indicating that more than a million Malaysians are drug addicts. The staggering estimate put the figure at 1,097,408 Malaysians addicted to illicit substances.
The demographics of the addiction problem are disturbing, with 1,051,712 men, 45,696 women, and 328,640 individuals aged 15-29 among the addicted. Zahid expressed his distress at the rising statistics and emphasized the urgent need for action.
To address this alarming issue, Zahid has directed the Home Ministry and the AADK to collaborate with relevant agencies. They have a three-month timeframe to devise strategies to combat Malaysia’s burgeoning drug problem.
“The meeting will also look at the game-changer for this issue and coordinate with all relevant Ministries, agencies, and NGOs,” Zahid added, stressing the necessity for a holistic approach to tackle the issue.
Malaysia’s growing synthetic drug problem demands urgent attention. The ease of access, affordability, and the shift of the drug market to the digital realm necessitate an immediate, coordinated response to tackle this crisis.
This news is based on information from Malay Mail.