Lawmaker Melinda Chan Mei Yi said Thursday she hoped the government would toughen the penalties for drug-related crimes.
Speaking to reporters in her capacity was chairwoman of the local Sin Meng Charity Association after holding a press conference about an event the group will hold next month, Chan said as the average age of people who take illegal drugs is going down and drug users are choosing ever more discreet places to take drugs so as not to get caught, the authorities should take tougher measures to prevent the illicit substances from being smuggled into Macau.
She further said, according to The Macau Post Daily, that the reason drug smugglers bring drugs into Macau or use the city as a stopover to take them to other places was due to the fact that the penalties here are quite soft. She pointed out that the maximum sentence for drug-related crimes is only 15 years, much shorter than those in the mainland and Hong Kong.
“That’s why criminals will do their best to smuggle drugs into Macau and then on to other regions. I believe that relevant laws should be amended as soon as possible to toughen the penalties,” said Chan.
The lawmaker also said she hoped that youths will stand firm and resist any kinds of drug temptations. She said this was the reason why her association will hold an event on April 19 where participants will camp out at Fisherman’s Wharf for a night, discussing topics such as drugs, gambling and Internet addictions. The pointed out that participants taking part in the activity will be banned from using their mobile phones for 16 hours.
Any changes to Macau’s Penal Code, such as tougher penalties, must be passed by the Legislative Assembly.(macaunews)