War on drugs takes cultural role

A two-day anti-drug exhibition was held in the West Kowloon Cultural District over the weekend, with police commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee calling on people to plant the "anti-drug seed" in their hearts following a growth in the population of young drug abusers.

The LOL Party, themed "Love Our Life," is also aimed at encouraging people to embrace difficulties with a positive attitude.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Siu told of a visit in September he made to a prisoner who is serving a 17-year sentence for drug trafficking when she was 15.

"She wished she had been wiser and not been driven by impulse so easily," he said. "She was allowed to see her mother in an activity, and she held on to her mother's arm tightly as she treasured the time with her," Siu said.

"All youngsters can take that as a lesson. Imagine being jailed for more than 10 years for drug abuse or drug trafficking and being unable to see your family and friends, how would you feel?" he said.

The family-friendly anti-drug party saw children, parents and youngsters treated to a long weekend of games, performances and visiting booths, with some handicapped joining in the festivities in wheelchairs.

Athlete-turned-singer Alex Fong Lik-sun was there to help bolster the message.

Students of the Leadership Institute On Narcotics arranged the anti-drugs exhibition booths.

Performances, singing shows by STARS Academy singers, busking and police dog performances were featured.

Elite athletes and rehabilitated drug abusers also shared their experience and positive messages.

The event also featured a gigantic "Mai Jai," a new anti-drug mascot of the narcotics bureau, to disseminate the message of "Drugs? Never!"

The party is part of the series of events launched in the police's Anti-Drugs Campaign 2022 in September and November.

The number of drug abusers among those aged below 21 increased by 44 percent to 873 last year from 607 in 2020. The most popular drugs among the young were cannabis, cocaine and ketamine.