Right to stay tough on drugs

A visitor getting an airbrush tattoo at the Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign (ADAC) booth on June 20, 2014.
A visitor getting an airbrush tattoo at the Anti-Drug Abuse Campaign (ADAC) booth on June 20, 2014. PHOTO: CNB

The Government's tough stance on drugs, as with firearms, must be applauded.

Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam has stood firm on this, in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly ("Singapore will not soften stand on drugs: Shanmugam"; yesterday).

This is rightly so, as Singapore must never relax the rules on what has served the nation so well for so long.

There must be no concession made to the few people who abuse substances and threaten the rest of our society. The moment we go soft, we lose control.

Drug offenders have to give up the habit and reform. Most of all, they must not be allowed to spread the habit.

Losing the fight against drugs will prove too costly for a small city-state like ours. We can ill afford to get sloppy and weak on matters such as drug abuse, which has the potential to damage and even destroy our people.

We do not have the luxury of rich resources or the hinterland that larger countries have.

Our people are the only natural resource we have. If they are allowed to experiment with their lives and harm themselves, they become a liability to the very society they should be serving.

If people flout the laws that are in place to protect us, then there is a price to pay.

The cost involved to clean up the mess, should we lose control of the drug situation here, will be high. And it will not be easy to restore things to normality.

So, let us be sensible at all times, and not be influenced or dictated to by others, especially those who need to get their own house in order.

Let us consider our own situation and what is best for us as we head towards SG100. Let us ensure that generations to come have a future, and a good one, not one that is filled with dread as a result of the harmful effects of drugs that are allowed in.

Manoraj Rajathurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'Right to stay tough on drugs'. Print Edition | Subscribe