Families of music fest 'drug death': We went through hell

Families of music fest 'drug death': We went through hell
Only memories remain: Kamal Syahril showing a photo of his late brother Kamal Zekry.

PETALING JAYA: The families of two youths who died of heatstroke at last year's Future Music Festival Asia feel vindicated now that the truth is known.

They said they have had to endure the shame stemming from police statements at the time that the youths had died from drug overdose.

The siblings of Kamal Zekry Kamal Basha, 22, and Sabreena Kamaruddin, 21, said their families had gone through unimaginable hurt.

The reputations of their loved ones were sullied by comments made on social media and editorials in the press following the incident, they said.

The families also claimed police never updated them on the matter after the first few meetings.

"But I never doubted my sister. She would never have taken drugs knowingly," said Sabreena's brother Amirul Aftar.

"She was a shy person. Even going out to fetch a pizza from the delivery man was a scary thing for her."

Sabreena was a computer science student and had gone to the music festival with several friends who shied away from the family after her death, he said.

According to Amirul, the family "went through hell" and lost friends due to the stigma caused by the police saying that Sabreena died from an overdose.

"My sister was made a scapegoat," he said, upset and rocking back and forth in his seat.

"I want to know why the police left us to endure that and used my sister's death to shut down other concerts."

Kamal Syahril said his brother Kamal Zekry, a state rugby player who was engaged, would not throw away his life by taking drugs.

"He never even touched a cigarette," said the 28-year-old.

Kamal Zekry was the youngest child in the family and a business student whose pet name was Eky, said Kamal Syahril.

"Several Malay newspapers published Eky's picture after he died, with scathing headlines calling him perosak bangsa," he added.

"I was so angry when I read the comments on Facebook about Eky. People said he was better off dead because he brought shame to his race.

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