Harm Reduction in the Pisspot of Malaysian Advocacy

Needle Syringe Exchange Program (NSEP) in Malaysia is not a new invention nor a service of a secretariat that seems bent on publicity. It was initiated in Chow Kit, by a community based organization called Pink Triangle.
Malaysia NSEP
Malaysian society is unaware, or purposely ignorant, of the service primarily because of the prevailing stigma of injecting drug users, and with the usual dose of prejudice against marginalized folks.

Despite ASEAN's determination to turn Southeast Asia into a drug-free region, harm reduction programs are still focused on its HIV-link rather than the issue of drug-use and addiction. Governments and NGOs are still determined to neglect choices, or informed decisions. Compulsory rehabilitation, as part of so-called harm reduction process, does not work, nor have we seen a progressive decline of addiction through state-sponsored initiatives much less detention of those in the equation.

And what of non-injecting users? The NSEP, the NGOs and the Malaysia's National Anti-Drug Agency are obviously ill-equipped, consumed by prejudice of "law-breaking" drug-users, or simply not in the right mindset to look into amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), besides the usual police raids, prosecution, prison and the school exhibitions that seeks to terrify children into not taking drugs.
Needles Syringes Condoms Malaysia
Harm reduction in Malaysia is still in its infancy, with a growing gap between the drug-users community and society at large. As in the case of a site called NSEP Malaysia, the information is shamefully outdated and those responsible to disseminate information are busy reading tabloids or playing with Facebook.

Point being, NGOs are still playing politics with the Malaysian government and whining to foreign funders about the poor state of harm reduction in the country. Without the participation of drug-users and allowing their thoughts to be shared and discussed, without their active involvement in policy-making, harm reduction will continue to be in the lowest pisspot of Malaysian "advocacy".

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