Concert Bans Won’t Solve Drug Problem Says Khairy

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — Banning concerts or raves will not end drug abuse, minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today after six youths died at the recent Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) from drug use last week. The Youth and Sports Minister pointed out that concert goers could take drugs outside the event premises before going to the concert. “We need to teach and expose young people to the dangers of drugs; it only takes a bad batch of drugs,” Khairy told a news conference at the Asia Pacific NGO Conference on Human Trafficking here today.

He added that his ministry has proposed working with the Home Ministry on an outreach programme on designer drugs, like ecstasy or methamphetamines that have become increasingly popular. Selangor PAS Youth urged Putrajaya yesterday to ban Life-in-Colour, a live music event scheduled for April 19, after the drug-related deaths were reported during the FMFA over the weekend. Calling Life in Colour a “wild concert and party”, the Islamic party’s wing said it did not see how organising the event would benefit Malaysians. Khairy, however, stressed today that a more comprehensive solution needed to be considered, including tightening safety and security measures at concerts, as well as having drug abuse education campaigns.

He also said in a speech earlier at the conference that the deaths of the five Malaysians and one Singaporean, who were in their 20s, were due to their choices and also because of callous drug traffickers. “They were there to have fun, but they lost their lives because of their own personal choices, their own personal behaviour, but they also lost their lives because there were irresponsible people who trafficked drugs without any care on what happens,” said the Rembau MP. He called on young people to raise more awareness of human trafficking — which he said sat side by side with drug abuse and trafficking as transnational crime on social media.

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