Friday, 24 February 2006

Malaysia PM defends death for drug offenders

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the death penalty was "the right kind of punishment" for drug traffickers at a media conference with Australian journalists on 22 February.

Badawi, in Australia to receive an honorary doctorate from the Curtin University of Technology, was responding to a question about harsh anti-drug laws in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.

According to an AAP report, Abdullah said: "We are very hard, very hard on drugs ... (they are) a threat to the wellbeing of our society."

"You know the kind of suffering they (drug traffickers) have inflicted upon the people who have to take their product.

"I have seen enough suffering. I have seen enough. I have seen what happens to these people."

Malaysian newspaper The Star reports quotes Abdullah adding: "Drug addiction leads to other crimes. At the beginning, addicts may take money from their parents' wallet. This then leads to more serious crimes as drugs are not cheap.

"The only way to fight the drug scourge is take preventive and punitive measures, including imposing the death penalty on traffickers.

"We have to resort to doing things based on our own environment and the complexities that we live in."

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