Published: 10 January 2023
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the power of the Director of the Central Narcotics Bureau to commit a person to a Drug Rehabilitation Centre for treatment or rehabilitation or to be subject to supervision on the basis that the person is reasonably suspected to be a drug addict under section 34 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1973 may be enlarged to include a person who is reasonably suspected to be a casual drug user but not an addict.
Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development:
1. Mr Speaker, under Section 34(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), the Director of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) can subject a person to supervision in the community, or admit a person to a Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC), if the person tests positive for a controlled drug on a urine or hair test. This is regardless of the person’s drug-taking habits, or whether he is a drug addict or not.
2. However, if the urine or hair test result is negative for a controlled drug, Section 34(1) of the MDA requires the Director of the CNB to have a reasonable suspicion that a person is a drug addict before committing him to a medical examination or observation. Only if the medical examination or observation shows the person to have signs or symptoms consistent with drug abuse, can the Director of the CNB subject him to supervision, or commit him to a DRC.