A member of the Klungkung government tested positive for illegal drugs during a spot check of lawmakers and civil servants by the Provincial Narcotics Agency (BNP).
BNP officials said, however, they were investigating the possibility that they prescription medicines could have caused the positive reading.
A 16-member team from the BNP and the anti-narcotics police conducted urine tests on 20 members of the regency government last week. One member tested positive for the banned drug benzodiazepine.
“We don’t want to release the name of the one who is suspected of narcotics use, and we won’t say whether he was an elected member, or staff,” said BNP chief Anak Agung Wiradarma, stressing that while benzodiazepine was commonly used as a recreational drug, it was sometimes prescribed for medicinal purposes.
“He could have recently taken cough medicine, sleeping pills or a tonic,” he said, adding that he had asked Honorary Board member Made Kasta and Chairman of the Klungkung assembly AA Gde Anom to investigate the matter, and to ask the suspect where he got the drugs.
Wiradarma said that if it did emerge that the man had been using the drug recreationally, action would be taken.
“If it later turns out that he is an addict, then we will rehabilitate him. We will send him to a BNP rehabilitation clinic,” he said.
Following the announcement of the positive test several members of the Klungkung government complained publically, saying that the BNP had brought the whole regency government into disrepute by not naming the suspected individual.
“What BNP Bali has announced is not complete and not clear; it’s just bits and pieces. It could create a negative impression of every single member of the government,” said assembly member I Wayan Mastra on Sunday.
Mastra said the suspect should have been identified from the start, or that the affair should not have been made public until it was clarified.
In the announcement the name of the individual who tested positive should have been clarified, and it should have been clarified whether this really was an illegal drug, or a flu treatment or some other medicine,” he said.
Meanwhile, a second spot check was carried out by BNP staff on inmates at Karangasem Prison on Saturday. The tests were conducted without warning, and targeted general members of the prison population as well as those serving drugs sentences. Wiradarma did not say whether any prisoners had tested positive.