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Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the decision was made during a post-Cabinet meeting last week. - NSTP/MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has formed a special committee to speed up the process of decriminalising drug addiction among youth.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the decision was made during a post-Cabinet meeting last week.

“The special committee is headed by the Home Ministry, in collaboration with the Youth and Sports Ministry and the chief secretary to the government,” he said at the Parliament lobby, here, today.

Syed Saddiq said the move to decriminalise drug addiction among youth was to ensure those caught would not be put behind bars, which would jeopardise their future.

“Drug addicts are not criminals and should not be jailed.

“They should be given proper rehabilitation instead,” he added.

Syed Saddiq said statistics showed that youth formed the majority of those caught and convicted for drug-related offences.

“In 2018, the number of youth caught with drug addiction offences were 18,967, while adult drug offenders were 6,300.

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