Sarawak

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
15
2010
8

Pahang

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
68
2010
42

Pulau Pinang

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
88
2010
58

Johor

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
44
2010
34

Negeri Sembilan

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
57
2010
36

Sabah

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
27
2010
19

Perak

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
38
2010
33

Kedah

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
51
2010
33

Melaka

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
45
2010
30

Kelantan

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
59
2010
32

Kuala Lumpur

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
94
2010
61

Terengganu

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
100
2010
58

Selangor

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
37
2010
25

Perlis

Drug crimes per 10,000 residents

2009
60
2010
36

Drug Crime

Data provided from the Malaysian courts, police and prosecution show that drugs and drugs related offences dominate the criminal caseload. Increasingly, consideration is being given to alternative ways of managing drug addiction by diverting such cases, or referring, them to other agencies.  The country’s drug policies appear to be shifting from viewing drug use and addiction as a criminal offence, for which the offender must be punished, to seeing it more as a medical condition and a social problem for which the user requires treatment.

The establishment of the ‘1Malaysia’ Care and Cure Clinics across the country shows a significant impact on rates of relapse among patients, with a drop of 25.7% in the number of patients failing to remain drug-free after treatment.  The Director General of the National Anti-Drugs Agency of Malaysia, stated: ‘Drug users need cure and care. There is no use trying to discipline them with a military regimental approach. These people are not criminals, they are patients.’ 

While the policies on narcotics may be shifting, the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 [Act 234] continues to take a relatively punitive approach to both self-administration and possession for personal use. The result is that in February 2012, there were 5,574 persons in prison for having used a narcotic substance in violation of section 15(1) of Act 234. This equates to approximately 41% of all persons in prison under the DDA 1952, and to about 18 % of the total prison population. 

There were 5,054 persons in prison for possession of less than 2 grammes (g) of heroin, 5g amphetamine, or 20g cannabis (section 12(2) DDA)  - or 37% of DDA prisoners, and 16% of all prisoners. There were an additional 669 persons in prison convicted under sections 6, 9, 10 DDA for possession of opium, coca leaves, poppy straw or cannabis in amounts not reaching the thresholds of section 39A DDA.

More people are charged and/or convicted under subsection 39A(2) than under subsection 39A(1) as the  weight range is wider under subsection 39A(2) being 5-14.9 g of heroin for instance, compared with the range in subsection 39A(1) of 2-4.9 g. Lawmakers have concluded that up to 10 g of heroin could amount to personal use.  An inference is that a significant proportion of people convicted under subsection 39A(2) -  carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment - are primarily drug users, as opposed to drug traffickers.

Although the Act 234 has been amended on many occasions, these amendments have tended to harden and broaden the scope of the legislation (by increasing sentences and including new forms of narcotic substances).  The consequence, for the criminal justice system, is that considerable resources are taken up in arresting, prosecuting and punishing people who have used drugs or who have been found in possession of drugs for personal use.

As of October 2011, Care and Cure clinics were treating 9,041 drug users, and private rehabilitation clinics treated 2,016 drug users during 2010. Puspen treated 5,400, and an additional 52,833 were in community rehabilitation under supervision in 2010. Taken together, the drug users in treatment typically outnumber the drug users in prison by a factor of at least 10 to 1.

% Change in Drug Crimes 2009/2010

StateChange
Sarawak-47%
Kelantan-46%
Terengganu-42%
Perlis-40%
Pahang-38%
Negeri Sembilan-37%
Kedah-35%
Kuala Lumpur-35%
Pulau Pinang-34%
Melaka-33%
Selangor-32%
Sabah-30%
Johor-23%
Perak-13%

Legend

-50% to -40%
-40% to -30%
-30% to -20%
-20% to 0%