Malaysians under 18 would Need Adult Supervision While Going Out at Night

Malaysians under 18 would Need Adult Supervision While Going Out at Night 

Government of Malaysia is considering setting a curfew at night past a certain time for Malaysians under the age of 18.

The proposal is being considered to shield young Malaysians from negative influences and bad activities. The authorities believe, a curfew of this kind would safeguard them from getting involved in drugs.

At the Cabinet Committee on Eradicating Drugs meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on January 17, this proposal was also discussed and agreed upon. She said that glue sniffing is a serious issue among youngsters and the government is seriously considering implementing the curfew.

Iceland, too, has a similar law implemented for teenagers and children. Malaysia is following the same path.

“We are looking at this policy practised by Iceland. This is a model that we can emulate,” Datuk Seri Wan Azizah said after chairing the meeting on Thursday.

“It may not be easy to implement but we feel this is necessary and can definitely help prevent young people from being involved in negative activities,” she said.

An online poll conducted by The Star revealed that most Malaysians are not in favour of the curfew. Around 1,400 or 49 percent respondents did not agree with the proposal.

Many people suggested that the government should focus more on education and awareness, rather than creating arbitrary or restrictive laws.

However, 34 percent of respondents to the poll agreed with the imposition of curfew, believing it would help in combating social ills.

Another 17 percent of respondents feel it is a good idea, but implementation would be difficult, as it would require a great number of security personnel to keep a check and handle the cases.

The Cabinet Committee on Eradicating Drugs also discussed drawing up a law to prevent, treat and monitor abusers of psychotropic substances, including inhalants such as glue.

Dr Wan Azizah also suggested that a new law to deal with psychotropic substance abusers is on the list.

“This is still at the proposal stage. We have yet to figure out the punitive actions as well as educational elements that we want to have as part of the law. But what is for sure is that we need to ensure that our future generation is not addicted to psychotropic products and glue sniffing,” she said, adding that while the habit might not look as dangerous as injecting oneself with drugs, the effect of glue sniffing is equally, if not more, dangerous.

Plantation of ketum was also discussed during the Cabinet Committee meeting. It was agreed that Malaysians would seek approval from the authorities before growing ketum, which is used as a painkiller and energy booster, but can lead to serious addiction.

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