Every citizen, drug addict or not, has rights
It is alarming to hear the primary and mass education minister suggest that he would enact a policy to shoot drug addicts on sight if he were the home minister.
If the minister was being serious, then his position is deeply undemocratic — it shows a flagrant disrespect for due process and smacks of tyranny.
And if the remarks were meant to be hyperbole, they are still highly offensive, and show an ignorance of the nature of the drug problem in society.
In most cases, drug addicts are victims of circumstance, and it is the duty of our government to work towards alleviating poverty and rooting out the criminal syndicates that profit off of keeping addiction alive.
Furthermore, many drug users are actively trying to get out of the cycle of addiction, but cannot do so due to a lack of social support, with many rehab centres catering only to the rich, while the government turns a blind eye to their plight.
To say that drug addiction is a worse evil than militancy is odious — it insults the many innocent people who have lost their lives at the hands of extremist violence and downplays the true dangers of militancy.
A call for extra-judicial executions of drug addicts advocates the killing of people without a fair trial — and this would empower police to act as judge, jury, and executioner, and make them even less accountable to the public than they currently are.
But we live in a democracy governed by law, where every citizen, drug addict or not, has rights.
Those rights guaranteed by the law are sacred — we must protect them.