ASEAN must continue to fight the drug menace

National 1 minute, 48 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Paduka Hj Hamdan Hj Abu Bakar yesterday urged all the 10-member ASEAN countries to stand and work together to continue its fight against the drug menace.

The deputy minister, who is in Singapore to represent Brunei in the fifth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters, was also one of those who gave a speech on country’s situationer and effort to stave off the drug problem.

The deputy minister said that Brunei’s drug situation in 2015 is still under control and there had been no detected drug production, no diversion of chemical precursors nor have had any illicit crop cultivation.

He said Brunei would continue to stay alert and this would include threats of infiltration into the sultanate.

Dato Paduka Hj Hamdan said Brunei would also continue to work closely with other ASEAN member states as it is vital for the region to demonstrate unity and commitment in developing the association for its 50th anniversary next year.

He added member countries should continue with a united front to ensure the outcomes of international meetings do not contradict with the region’s policy, interest and aspiration of a drug-free ASEAN.

It is also important for ASEAN to make early preparations for the 2019 new global drug policy through the United Nations, he said.

The meeting also adopted the “ASEAN Work Plan on Securing Communities against Illicit Drugs 2016-2025”, outlining the region’s activities and initiatives in tackling issues on illicit drugs.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Ribbon was also launched which symbolises ASEAN’s anti-drug efforts.

Teo Chee Hean, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, said the regional bloc must be united as one voice for a Drug-Free ASEAN and must have zero-tolerance approach against drugs. He said ASEAN must stand and work together as it would give them a better chance of protecting the public from drugs, rehabilitate drug abusers and reintegrate them into the society.

The meeting was also attended by Hj Mohd Jaffari Hj Mahadi, Acting Director of Narcotics Control Bureau and senior officers from the Prime Minister’s Office and Narcotics Control Bureau. — Abdul Aziz Ismail

The Brunei Times