S'porean dies after collapsing at drug-hit Jakarta concert

A Singaporean man died after collapsing at a trance music festival in Jakarta on Sunday, in what the Indonesian authorities have called a drug-related case.

Indonesian media reported yesterday that Mr Chua Wen Hu, 26, was one of three who collapsed at the event, A State of Trance, at Ancol Beach. The event ran from Saturday night to early Sunday. The same performance had played in Kuala Lumpur from Friday night to early Saturday, during which drug overdoses reportedly left six Malaysians dead, dozens hospitalised and 29 arrested on drug charges.

Among these, two Singaporeans have been discharged from KL hospitals, but seven remain hospitalised, Cheras police chief, Assistant Commissioner Mohan Singh, told The Straits Times yesterday.

Three young Singaporeans were also arrested after their urine tested positive for unconfirmed types of drugs, added ACP Mohan - two males are still being detained, while a female has been bailed out by a Malaysian.

Post-mortems on the six dead, who were aged between 19 and 28, have been done, but the drugs involved have not been determined as toxicology testing has yet to be completed, he said.

The rest of the three-day Future Music Festival Asia, of which A State of Trance was a part, was cancelled.

Drugs continued to plague A State of Trance - which featured a line-up of international DJs including Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk - when it travelled on Saturday to Jakarta in the next-to-last leg of its eight-country tour.

Mr Chua is understood to have collapsed with seizures during the concert and was rushed to Mitra Kemayoran Hospital, along with Indonesians Isti Rahmawati, 19, and Ricky Maahir Muhammad, 18.

All three died soon afterwards, reported The Jakarta Globe.

Jakarta police spokesman, Senior Commissioner Rikwanto, told The Straits Times that the trio had consumed amphetamines and methamphetamines before entering the concert venue, and had bought vodka from event sponsors when inside. They were drinking before they lost consciousness.

Jakarta police are still investigating, said Mr Rikwanto, adding that Mr Chua had consumed the drugs at a hotel and that poisoning has not been ruled out.

A friend of Mr Chua's, who declined to be named, said he was a soft-spoken man and had no known history of drug abuse. Mr Chua is believed to have been working in his family's business in trade and accounting. His body was flown home on Sunday night. He leaves behind a mother and a step-brother.

Jakarta is known as a hotbed for drug peddling, with an estimated 600,000 drug users, and such trance and rave music events tend to be blighted by alcohol and substance abuse.

Attendees of the trance performance in KL told The Straits Times that people were openly selling and using drugs at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium venue.

The organisers of A State of Trance did not respond to queries by press time. Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the cases in both KL and Jakarta, and is providing consular assistance to those involved and Mr Chua's family.


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