Umno leader detained for drug use in KL says he only drank coffee


KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A leader in Malaysian ruling party Umno has admitted he was arrested during a police raid on a karaoke centre in Kuala Lumpur, after allegedly testing positive for drugs.

However, Bandar Tun Razak Umno division chief Rizalman Mokhtar denied he used drugs, and said the operation was a set-up to attack his reputation.

"If the reports saying that I am positive are right, I am sure it is a set-up to tarnish my good name," he said during a press conference on Wednesday (April 4).

Asked what he was doing at the karaoke lounge in Jalan Imbi, near the capital's financial and shopping district, Rizalman said that he was just singing and having a cup of coffee.

The raid at 2am on Monday was conducted jointly by the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission after receiving an anonymous tip that the outlet was operating without a licence.

Sources said a urine test on Rizalman came back positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine.

Rizalman's family, including his wife and children, and supporters from ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) were also present at the press conference on Wednesday.

"I hope that Umno and Barisan are not linked with the issue because it is more of a personal attack on me," he said, adding that he would resign from all his posts if the allegations were proven to be true in court.

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also deputy president of Umno, expressed regret over the arrest and said he would talk to Prime Minister Najib Razak about any action to be taken against Rizalman.

He said the incident would affect the ruling coalition's performance in the constituency in the upcoming general election even though the Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary seat had been allocated to the Malaysian Chinese Association, another BN party.