Police arrest troubled former Exists band frontman for drug possession in Johor

Mamat Exists was the band’s original vocalist from 1991 to 1994, before going solo. — Picture via Instagram/mamatexistofficial
Mamat Exists was the band’s original vocalist from 1991 to 1994, before going solo. — Picture via Instagram/mamatexistofficial

JOHOR BARU, Sept 9 — The police arrested a former vocalist of popular 90s pop-rock band Exists, who has a history of drug-related offences, for possession of syabu (crystal methamphetamine) outside a shophouse along Jalan Camar 1/3 in Taman Perling here last night.

The 41-year-old suspect was arrested together with a male friend, aged 40, after plainclothes policemen from the Taman Perling police station found a packet of what is believed to be syabu on the former.

A source told Malay Mail that the policemen were earlier alerted of the duo’s presence after they had acted suspiciously on a Yamaha LC 135 motorcycle.

“The plainclothes policemen, who were on a routine crime prevention patrol, identified themselves and proceeded to check the suspects outside the shophouse lot.

“The older suspect was then found to be in possession of 0.42g of a white crystalline substance believed to be syabu that was hidden in a clear plastic packet inside his wallet,” said the source.

The police arrested the suspects and brought them to the Johor Baru North district police headquarters’ Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) for processing.

The source said both men also tested positive for narcotics during the urine tests.

“Initial investigations revealed that both men were not on the police wanted list, but the older suspect had previous cases related to drug offences,” said the source.

When contacted, Johor Baru North police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Taib Ahmad confirmed the arrest of the duo.

He said the police have initiated investigations under Section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 for drug possession and also Section 15 (1)(a) of the same Act for self-administration or consumption of drugs.

The Exists band, which was originally known as Exist, was formed in Johor Baru in 1991. The band achieved almost instant nationwide fame with the release of their single Untukmu Ibu, followed by their debut album, Exist in the same year.

Mohd Ali Kamarudin or popularly known as Mamat Exists was the band’s original vocalist from 1991 to 1994, before going solo. He has a checkered past with several convictions for drug-related offences and also a highly-publicised theft case in Singapore in 2010.

He is said to have been preparing for Exists mega reunion concert, called Konsert Exists Reunion, scheduled for September 28 at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam, followed by Singapore on October 5.

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