Show must go on: 90s band Exists reunion on despite frontman Mamat's arrest for drug possession

Band members from Exists posing with the event organisers. — Picture courtesy of Shiraz Projects
Band members from Exists posing with the event organisers. — Picture courtesy of Shiraz Projects

PETALING JAYA, Sept 10 — The “Konsert Exists Reunion” will go on as planned, despite its former vocalist in Mamat or Mohd Ali Kamarudin arrested on Sunday night for drug possession.

Shiraz Projects chief executive officer Shirazdeen Karim said despite the bad news, he is confident that the show will go on.

“The concert will go on as planned and we now leave it to the authorities to carry out the investigations,” said Shirazdeen in a press statement.

He added that he sympathised with Exists’ die-hard fans, who have been flooding in messages and calls regarding the concert scheduled in just a little over two weeks time.

“We understand what the fans are feeling, many of them have already bought tickets and have a lot of unanswered questions,” said Shirazdeen.

“All I can say now is that it is too soon to make any decisions.”

Many were quick to criticise Mamat, 41, on social media, lamenting that they were “frustrated” and “hurt” when they heard that he was arrested and may not be able to make the concert.

Comments from social media users on Mamat Exists’ Instagram account. — Instagram/@realmamat
Comments from social media users on Mamat Exists’ Instagram account. — Instagram/@realmamat

One fan said that he has waited for years to see Exist make a comeback and would hate to see it all go to waste for something like this, while another user took his arrest more personally.

“You suck Mamat, I hate you, I’ve been your fan since I was ten years old, but you keep hurting us,” said Instagram user Sara Naquia.

“I am super frustrated, I didn’t buy those expensive tickets to see someone else, I want to see you.”

On refunds, Shirazdeen urged fans to stay strong in light of the shocking news, as the organisers are trying to bail Mamat out.

“We will make a decision on refunds on a later date, we are in the process of getting Mamat to be released on bail,” he told Malay Mail today.

“At the moment we are confident that he will perform at the concert.”

Mamat was arrested on Sunday at 11.30pm by plainclothes policemen at Taman Perling, Johor Bahru.

Mamat has a history of run-ins with the law for drug offences in Johor Bahru. — Instagram/@realmamat
Mamat has a history of run-ins with the law for drug offences in Johor Bahru. — Instagram/@realmamat

The police reprimanded him and a friend for acting suspiciously in front of a shophouse lot, and found 0.42 grammes of a silver crystalline substance believed to be “syabu” or methamphetamine in his wallet.

This isn’t the first run-in with the law for the former frontman, who was previously involved in two other drug-related charges in 2010 and 2011, including being caught under the influence of methamphetamine with a stolen Yamaha LC 135 motorbike in Johor Bahru.

In May 2017, Mamat was handed a RM1,000 fine and two-year supervision under the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK).

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.

“Konsert Exists Reunion” is scheduled for September 28 at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam, followed by Singapore on October 5.

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