JOHOR BARU: There was no need for the United States Embassy to issue an advisory to its citizens to avoid visiting a popular nightspot in Kuala Lumpur, said Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.
The Deputy Home Minister said the embassy should instead have informed the Malaysian police if it had information of alleged "coordinated drink-spiking" at The Beach Club on Jalan P. Ramlee.
On Friday (Jan 12), the embassy issued a security alert in which it designated The Beach Club as off limits to "all personnel under Chief of Mission authority", citing a reoccurrence of drink-spiking incidents, which were first reported in 2015.
"The prohibition was not based on one singular event, but was developed after a careful review of historical events associated with this venue," it said in the statement.
In 2015, the embassy issued a similar advisory against visiting the nightclub after several alleged incidents of foreigners there being drugged.
Nur Jazlan said the embassy's latest advisory could, however, paint an unfavourable picture.
"The move could paint a bad picture of Malaysia although the alleged cases are only taking place at that particular outlet," he told reporters after attending an event in Taman Anggerik here on Saturday.
He added that the Home Ministry would nevertheless direct the police to investigate the claims made by the embassy.
"No police reports were lodged on the cases at the venue. But police will look at previous records on the cases at the outlet," said Nur Jazlan, adding that other nightclubs would be investigated to determine if the alleged drink-spiking was happening elsewhere.
When contacted, Beach Club Cafe Kuala Lumpur said that the safety of their customers remains a top priority.
"We have a very strict no drug, no violence and no theft policy and our security team conducts thorough checks on all customers before entering the club," a spokesperson told The Star.
It said customers found violating the policy will be handed over to the authorities for further investigations and will be banned from re-entering the club.
"We regret the recent statement by the US Embassy and reiterate that the management of Beach Club Kuala Lumpur cannot be held responsible for the misconduct of a customer," it added.