“Medical tourism” in Malacca – Asean tourism officials and food poisoning

E. coli cover-up or the cooking of Nazri’s goose?

COMMENT: News in Malaysia is sometimes like a rabbit in a magician’s hat. One minute you see it, the next minute, it is gone. Last week, at least three newspapers reported that several high-ranking Asean tourism officials had suffered severe food poisoning. The irony was that they had been the guests of Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz.

Many social media sites said “padan muka” (serves you right), to Nazri and the government, for neglecting the warnings of Malaysian consumers, about dirty restaurants and the lack of enforcement of hygiene rules.

Nazri’s embarrassment was especially devastating. The officials had come for the 13th Asean socio-cultural community meeting. On March 24, the Asean officials suffered abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever from the seafood consumed in the food arcade, at the cultural village in Umbai, in Malacca.

Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron despatched a medical team to the hotel to treat the delegates. He said, “We have identified the cause of the problem, through laboratory tests.”

A few days after the alleged incident was reported, the official Tourism Ministry website issued the following statement, “It has been inaccurately reported that the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has suffered severe food poisoning after a seafood meal in a fishing village in Umbai, Malacca on 25 March. The Honourable Minister was not affected and he wishes to state that ‘I am perfectly well and have been carrying on with my duties as normal’…”

So, did the food poisoning incident happen or not?

Had Nazri been warned to deny that the food poisoning incident occurred? Was there a cover up? Are the authorities in complete denial that public health in Malaysia is abysmal?

For decades, Malaysians have demanded strict guidelines, more frequent health checks and rigorous inspections of restaurants and food processing plants.

16 Apr 2015 – theantdaily.com
E. coli cover-up or the cooking of Nazri’s goose?
by Mariam Mokhtar


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