Mr Dennis Foo has been a strong advocate of the anti-drug cause, and has been showing support for NCADA’s annual Clubs Against Drugs (CAD) Campaign year on year. In 2016, he received the NCADA Special Recognition Award for his significant contributions to the anti-drug cause. Read on for what he has to say about anti-drug efforts.
- How long have you been involved in the anti-drug cause?
Mr Dennis Foo: It started from the day when I was exposed to a drug conducive environment in my teens. I remember when I attended a Disco party in the 1970's, someone passed me a 'MX' pill and I knew I couldn't take it as we were all taught that drugs were a bad bad thing. It will ruin our lives. From that day onwards, I made sure that theres nothing else in my drinks except what I wanted. Those were my teenage days. Whenever I see people who are 'stoned' it repulses me.
When I went into the nightlife business providing live music entertainment I have no issues with drugs. This is because the Top Forties songs then had clear melody lines and these songs appeal to the hearts especially the evergreen ones. We could attract like minded people to my far away venue in Changi Point for many years. Even when we started performing Rock Music it was Slow Rock and my customers had really good clean fun. Then over the years the word 'Wholesome' became synonymous with our brand.
- What prompted you and kept you inspired to actively contribute to the anti-drug cause?
Mr Dennis Foo: Drugs are a No No to me. I am proud that having been in the nightlife business all my life yet I have not even 'smell' the mildest form of illegal drugs. The closest I ever got to having it was when I was in an Asian city in 2005 at a KTV bar. In that venue everybody were taking it and I was offered some 'Ice' which I knew I could not refuse or else my host a very substantial guy who eventually became the biggest nightclub operator in his country, would really lose face. He knew very well that I was dead against it. Yet he held the 'Ice' over my mouth and insisted I take it. I had to think very quickly and decided to open my mouth and in my mind I will quietly spit it out after taking it and pretend to be 'high'. Realizing my plight, my host then pretended and purposely drop the 'Ice' onto the floor much to my relief. He respected me and my views about drug consumption. That was the closest I ever got to consuming any form of illegal drugs. To me it's a matter of principle and the law. I have seen many people's lives been destroyed by drugs and have to do my part to prevent anybody I know from taking it. This is because I believe that once you take it, it can be the beginning of your end!
- What has been your greatest satisfaction throughout your years of contribution to the anti-drug cause?
Mr Dennis Foo: I remember there was this very famous foreign actor/producer. He tried persuading me to take Marijuana. Told me I can get high and become very imaginative and can come up with great ideas for my creative work. I was not persuaded. Why should I make my work the product of drug abuse? This is against my principle. Once I start, I will never be able to reconcile the work that my teams had made over the years for their anti drug efforts. Many chose to join me because of this. How can I let them down?
My greatest satisfaction is when my managers, security officers and even staff managed to catch culprits who push or abuse drugs and hand them over to the authorities. Many of them had been awarded with certificates and letters of recognition too. I am very proud and gives me the greatest satisfaction. They probably saved many individuals' lives which could have been destroyed by these unscrupulous peddlers.
- Do you have any advice for individuals who are faced with the temptations of abusing drugs?
Mr Dennis Foo: I want to keep this answer simple and like I have said; When you start abusing drugs, chances is its the beginning of your end! Every reason to avoid drugs is a good reason. Every excuse to abuse drugs is a bad excuse.
- Any final comments on the anti-drug cause?
Mr Dennis Foo: Among the vices, to me drug abuse is the worst. Once hooked, it will destroy a person's life completely. The person will degenerate and will do anything to get his or her hands on it. Family and loved ones will suffer along and everyone's life will be miserable. 'Drugs can kill!' is an understatement!