The arrest of former Singapore Idol winner Hady Mirza has shocked the entertainment community here, even as many noted that the 38-year-old had distanced himself from the music industry which had showered him with accolades and adoration.
The authorities have not provided details of Hady's arrest, but a report by The New Paper yesterday said Hady, who was spotted in the Changi Prison Complex, had been arrested for drug offences.
It is believed he was hauled up at a land crossing in Singapore, and is currently in a drug rehabilitation centre.
Home Team agencies conduct checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband.
Central Narcotics Bureau officers are stationed at the land crossings and conduct specific checks when a suspected drug offence is involved.
Hady first came into the spotlight as the winner of the second season of reality television singing contest Singapore Idol in 2006.
The ups and downs
Joins television singing competition Talentime but does not get past auditions.
Joins club band Raw Energy as singer, performing at now defunct Orchard Road nightspot Devil's Bar.
Wins the second edition of reality TV singing show Singapore Idol, garnering 70 per cent of around one million SMS votes from the public. He then releases a self-titled debut album, which sells more than 10,000 copies in just four days, and eventually achieves platinum status.
Wins the inaugural, and only, edition of Asian Idol in Jakarta, beating singers from countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Sings National Day Parade theme song Shine For Singapore with singer Joi Chua. In the same year, he makes his acting debut in Sense Of Home, a local television drama.
He releases second album, Sang Penyanyi (The Singer), which has a song that stays at the top of the charts of local Malay radio Ria FM 89.7 for 29 weeks.
Biggest winner at regional Malay music awards show Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) 2011.
He leaves the entertainment industry and forms FRHM Youth, which organises religious classes and sports activities for young people.
Marries Ms Nurjannah Nur Wahid, a Malaysian, in Johor.
Starts an F&B business, Tempting Trading, selling snacks like tempe ikan bilis sambal (spicy fermented soya beans and anchovies). However, its business registration is not renewed in May.
A social media post by a Grab passenger, showing Hady as the driver, goes viral online.
He is reportedly arrested for drug offences.
In the following year, he beat regional contestants and won the Asian Idol competition in Jakarta.
He released two albums and won several awards at regional Malay music awards show Anugerah Planet Muzik, and was the biggest winner with three awards in the 2011 edition.
In 2013, he left the entertainment industry and became a youth mentor, forming FRHM Youth, which organises religious classes and sports activities.
He started an F&B business selling snacks and beverages in 2016, and was last in the news after a Twitter post, about the star becoming a Grab driver, went viral last year.
The winner of the first Singapore Idol show in 2004, Taufik Batisah, who also signed up with Hady's former artist management arm, Artiste Networks, was surprised to read about the arrest.
They had performed together and even released a joint album, Kenangan Di Hari Raya (Memories Of Hari Raya), in 2011. But they lost touch a few years ago.
"I learnt of (the arrest) only today when I saw the news," he told The Straits Times. "The last time I bumped into him was at a pop-up store event at Downtown East during Ramadan.
"It was really good to see him after a long while. No matter what, I pray for the best for him and his family, and I do hope everyone will too."
Mr Yusnor Ef, president of Perkamus, the association of Malay singers, composers and professional musicians, was "saddened" by the reports of Hady's arrest.
"He is very talented, both as a singer and songwriter. I haven't spoken to him in a few years, but my impression of him is that of a person of good character, and I always thought he had a bright future ahead of him."
A spokesman for Artiste Networks, a subsidiary of Hype Records, said that the company has not been in touch with the singer since his contract ended "many years ago", and that it is "in no position to provide any further comment".
- Additional reporting by Tan Tam Mei