INCB visit to Malaysia – notes from the Malaysian AIDS Council


INCB visit to Malaysia – notes from the Malaysian AIDS Council

24 September 2013

On 10th September 2013, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) attended a meeting at the National Anti-Drugs Agency (known by its Malay acronym, AADK) in Kajang, Malaysia with NGOs including the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC). Other NGOs in attendance were PEMADAM and Pengasih.

The meeting began with a briefing by AADK on Cure & Care voluntary clinics and remaining compulsory treatment centres. Among information that was conveyed was that the compulsory treatment centres still have 10 roll calls a day to verify the presence of all detainees. They also said that there are 4 models of Cure & Care centres, categorised according to source of funding and body managing it. Curiously, AADK said the centres differentiate between addicts, drug abusers, and drug users, terms which are often used interchangeably, and do not seem to follow any international standard.The two representatives from the INCB enquired as to the absence of an evaluation process for these centres.

The meeting then proceeded to discussions with NGOs. The INCB showed no interest in MAC's policy work with police and media. They instead showed interest in PEMADAM's programs, praising them and stating that abstinence approaches are 'equally important' to harm reduction measures. Pengasih is an organisation that uses the therapeutic community approach and only has residential programs encompassing providing the individual with basic life skills such as hygiene and cooking food. Participants in the Pengasih program are given companions who are former drug users to assist them. The INCB had several enquiries as to Pengasih's program, such as how biopsychosocial factors are addressed.