Two S'poreans charged in KL court with drug offences

SINGAPORE - Two Singaporeans men were charged in a Malaysian court on Tuesday with drug offences after attending the Future Music Festival Asia, where six revellers died from overdose last Saturday.

Mohamad Redzwan Sali was charged with drug consumption after a positive test and Ng Teck Ming with possession of cannabis, police in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, told The Straits Times on Wednesday.

The two 27-year-olds, who are claiming trial, were not among at least 15 festival goers who collapsed and were hospitalised after alleged drug overdose.

Among them were 11 Singaporeans who are still being investigated and are likely to face similar charges upon recovery.

Six of the 11 have been discharged and five remain hospitalised.

Two of the latter were identified by the police as Ms Lim Shu Wei and Ms Aileen Wilopo. They were understood to have been in critical condition, initially.

The conditions of all who remain hospitalised were reported to have stabilised.

A spokesman for Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said it is working with Malaysian counterparts to identify any Singaporeans who may have been abusing drugs at the Kuala Lumpur festival.

"We will take action if they are found to have consumed controlled drugs," he said. Malaysian police arrested 29 people at the festival.

If convicted in Malaysia, Ng and Redzwan could face up to five years in jail and be fined up to RM100,000 (S$38,600).

Under Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act, the CNB may subject anyone who enters Singapore to urine testing. Any Singapore citizen or permanent resident found to have consumed a controlled drug outside of Singapore may be dealt with as if the offence had been committed within the country.

If convicted, they could be dealt a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail and a $20,000 fine.

From 2009 to last year, 80 Singapore citizens or PRs were arrested here for consuming drugs overseas, CNB said.

The event at which the drug incidents unfolded was called A State of Trance and featured popular international DJs, including Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk.

A State of Trance travelled to Jakarta the next day during a tour of eight countries.

Singaporean Chua Wen Hu, 26, collapsed during the Jakarta event and he and two Indonesian teenagers died shortly after being rushed to hospital.

Their deaths have also been classified as drugs-related.

Jakarta police spokesman, Senior Commissioner Rikwanto, told The Straits Times on Monday that Mr Chua had consumed amphetamines and methamphetamines at a hotel before entering the concert venue.

He and the two Indonesians had been drinking before they lost consciousness.

Mr Chua's body was flown back to Singapore on Sunday night as Indonesian police investigations and toxicology tests continued.

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