KUALA LUMPUR, The Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) (Amendment) Bill 2024, which was tabled for its second reading, has been deferred and will now be referred to two Parliamentary Special Select Committees (PSSC) for further engagement.

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

‘During this period, we will invite all relevant stakeholders, including members of parliament, legal experts, and NGOs, to further examine and fine-tune the bill before reaching a decision in Parliament.

‘While initially, I envisioned a final vote at the end of this process, but upon reflection, regardless of how thorough we perceive our efforts to be, (and after) members of parliament had provided valuable cr
iticism, perspectives and suggestions, I feel the ministry must give it weightage,’ he said when proposing the bill to be referred to the PSSC on Health and PSSC on Security today.

Saifuddin Nasution had earlier said that the amendment aims to encourage more individuals involved in drug abuse to voluntarily seek treatment.

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

‘Amending this act means we facilitate their journey towards rehabilitation. We provide modules, officers and facilities that adhere to international standards and boast a high success rate,’ he added.

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

The bill proposes expanding the scope of the
Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act 1983 (Act 283) to include substance addicts and abusers, while also broadening the scope of their treatment and rehabilitation.

During last Thursday’s debate session, several MPs suggested referring the bill to a Parliamentary Special Select Committee for further scrutiny. This includes engaging more with stakeholders such as private treatment centres to identify optimal treatment strategies for drug addicts.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency