SIBU: A sample of the suspected fake rice here has been collected and will be sent to a laboratory in Johor Bharu for analysis tomorrow (Nov 12).
Sarawak Health director Dr Jamilah Hashim disclosed this during a press conference today after the state-level ‘Gotong-Royong’ Mega 2.0 here at Farley Commercial Centre here today to combat Aedes mosquito.
She, however, said it will take some time for the results to be known.
“On the suspected fake rice – actually, the Health Department did not receive specific report – nobody made any report that there is (suspected) ‘fake’ rice.
“We got to know about this from The Borneo Post – the media. Therefore, (Sibu divisional health officer) Dr Lee (Jo Hun) through the media contacted the complainant concerned and they have already collected the rice sample suspected to be fake to be sent to the laboratory in Johor tomorrow (Nov 12).
“In this regard, before that (the outcome of the results is known), we are unsure whether it is fake or genuine rice. It will take a bit of time for the results to be out. We will revert when the results are out,” Dr Jamilah said when asked on the suspected fake rice reported in The Borneo Post last Saturday.
Asked for advice to members of the public, she said: “I don’t know. I am not sure about the brand of the rice involved.
“Maybe, if prices are ‘unrealistically low’, the public should think twice about buying it. Buy those (rice) that they normally buy and where prices are logical.”
At this juncture, Sarawak Federal Secretary Datuk Mansor Man interjected, pointing out that sometimes the rice looked too ‘beautiful’ and might look suspicious.
“If there are such issues, (the public are advised to) report Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) so that their enforcement (unit) can take necessary action. If information can be obtained early – it is good so as to inform the public,” he added.
Concurring with Mansor, Dr Jamilah said the public can perhaps forward complaints to the Health Department if they are suspicious about the product so that they can investigate.
Alternatively, she said that members of the media could alert the department if they received any information to enable them to investigate.
She said this is important to prevent people from consuming the rice if it was proven to be fake as there would be effect to their health.
Meanwhile, it was recently reported that two members of the public were shocked when the rice they had cooked turned into weird consistency and did not look like genuine rice.
According to the report, one of them who requested to remain anonymous said that though the texture of the rice looked different, she did not suspect anything at first because it tasted like rice.
She also claimed that the rice felt like cotton.
She could squeeze the water out when it was wet and the rice became light as a feather when it was dry.