Five deaths from methanol poisoning in Perak, says state exco

State Health, Consumers Affairs, Civil Society, National Integration and Human Resource Committee chairman A. Sivanesan inspects a liquor shop in Bercham May 14, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
State Health, Consumers Affairs, Civil Society, National Integration and Human Resource Committee chairman A. Sivanesan inspects a liquor shop in Bercham May 14, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, May 14 — State Health, Consumers Affairs, Civil Society, National Integration and Human Resource Committee chairman A. Sivanesan today said that a total of five men had died of suspected methanol poisoning in Perak.

He said the victims were three foreigners and two locals who died after consuming alcoholic drinks.

“From April 30 to May 12, a total of 13 cases were reported of suspected methanol poisoning due to alcohol consumption.

“Out of the 13 cases, five were reported dead,” he told reporters after inspecting a liquor shop in Bercham here.

Sivanesan said the victim were aged between 23 and 73-years-old and included a woman.

“Five cases involved foreigners and eight cases involves the locals.

“As of today, two victims were admitted at normal wards in Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun and Hospital Teluk Intan respectively, while six victims have been discharged,” he said.

Sivanesan said 13 samples have been sent to the lab to test for methanol and ethanol, and authorities are waiting for the results. 

He said the authorities have intensified checks conducted on liquor premises suspected of violating the Food Act 1985.

“We are also increasing our checks in highly suspicious area where liquor are sold ,such as the share houses in construction site and company hostels as most of the cases involved foreigners,” he said.

Sivanesan said a total of 198 premises selling alcohol have been inspected this year with four compounds worth RM12,000 imposed for the offence of mislabelling.

“We also seized 90 alcohol products worth RM876.50 for violating the Food Act 1985,” he said.

Last year, a total of 97 methanol poisoning cases were reported, with 48 deaths taking place around Selangor, Perak and Kuala Lumpur.

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