Caring for Addicts the Pengasih Way


Caring for addicts the Pengasih way – Pengasih, non-governmental drug addict rehabilitation centre is unique. It is not like any drug rehab centre that you’ll ever come across. In a Pengasih centre, there are no perimetre fencing. There are no cell blocks with iron bars. There are not even security personnel in or out of uniform. At Pengasih they have their own way of treating drug dependency and that’s because they know exactly what addicts go through; there were all once addicts too. Yes. Right from the President Yunus Pathi himself. And they use this very personal knowledge to help others kick the habit. “A local university and a US-based company dealing with drug dependence have determined that we have a success rate of 70% and this is based on former addicts staying drug-free for two years,” says Pathi. The Rumah Pengasih in Kuala Lumpur have several foreign clients (they are referred to as ‘clients’ and ‘residents’; never inmates) who’ve come either of their own volition or were ‘tricked’ into coming by family members and have stayed. As an NGO, funding is always difficult. But apart from the RM200,000 annual grant by the government, they’ve also been helped by companies such as Petronas the national petroleum company, Khazanah Holdings, the government’s investment arm, the KL City Council (DBKL), other companies and individuals. “We are thankful that after 22 years (they were set up in 1991), we are still around to help addicts kick their dependency,” says Pathi. Producer: Shufiyan Shukur Host: Shanice


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