Taufik Batisah 'surprised' by Hady Mirza's arrest, friend believes drug offence was "moment of weakness"

News of Hady Mirza's arrest has shocked the entertainment community in Singapore, with many noting how the former Singapore Idol had distanced himself from the music industry.

The 38-year-old, whose real name is Muhammad Mirzahady Amir, was caught at a land immigration checkpoint for offences involving marijuana, and was later sent to the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) in the Changi Prison complex.

Only Hady's wife and mother were aware of the singer-turned-entrepreneur-turned-Grab driver's secret, reported The New Paper.

Taufik Batisah, winner of the first Singapore Idol show in 2004 and who also signed up with Hady's former artist management arm, Artiste Networks, was surprised to learn of the arrest.

According to The Straits Times, he lost touch with Hady a few years ago, despite releasing a joint album in 2011.

Taufik said: "I learnt of (the arrest) only today when I saw the news.

"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," he said.

A close friend of Hady's in showbiz said the community remained supportive of him.

She told TNP: "He used to make mistakes in his younger days, but then in 2011, he told me he was going to turn his life around.

"I saw for myself how he made a 180 degree change, giving back to the community and putting others before himself."

She added that the community will continue to encourage him when he comes out of DRC.

"I believe that it was in a moment of weakness that this happened, and we will encourage him and help him overcome his challenges when he comes out."