Malaysia alcohol poisoning: Methanol content was up to 50 times more than permissible amount

Malaysia alcohol poisoning: Methanol content was up to 50 times more than permissible amount

Bootleg alcohol is believed to have killed 15 people in Malaysia
(File photo: AFP/Saeed Khan)

MELAKA: Methanol levels that were between 30 and 50 times higher than the permissible amount was found in toxic alcohol that caused the deaths of more than 30 foreigners last week, said Malaysia’s Deputy Health Minister Lee Boon Chye on Tuesday (Sep 25).

So far, at least 37 people in Malaysia have died as a result of a string of toxic alcohol poisoning cases.

Victims from Malaysia, Nepal and Bangladesh are among the fatalities.

READ: Malaysian NGO calls for mandatory jail sentence as alcohol poisoning deaths hit 36

Dr Lee noted that the high methanol content in the beer involved was believed to have been caused by a processing error during the manufacturing stage. The process was supposed to generate a kind of alcohol compound called ethanol.

He said to date, a total of 87 cases of toxic alcohol poisoning have been reported in four states, namely Selangor, the Federal Territories, Perak and Negeri Sembilan.

“We hope that the alcoholic drinks which have been identified as poisoned would be seized (by the related authorities) and no longer can be found in the market,” he said.

Previously, police said the Selangor victims were believed to have consumed two brands of whiskey and a brand of beer bought from various shops.

Local reports have identified the three brands as Mandalay Whiskey, King Fisher Beer and Grand Royal Whiskey.

Source: Bernama/CNA/zl(hm)

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