By Sarah Newton-John • 31 March 2023 • 9:55
Silhouette of a pufferfish/Shutterstock Images
Their daughter Ng Ai Lee, 51, said her 84-year-old father bought the fish unwittingly from a mobile fishmonger last Saturday as there were only a few selections of fish left in the fishmonger´s van that visits their village weekly.
Despite having never heard of pufferfish or “drumstick fish” as it is known in Chinese, her father bought it from the fishmonger, who visits their village in Kampung Chamek, in Johor state’s Kluang district.
“My parents have been buying fish from the same fishmonger for many years so my father did not think twice about it.
“He would not have knowingly bought something so deadly to eat and put their lives in danger,” she told The Star.
Lim Siew Guan ate the fish and began experiencing breathing difficulties and shivers while her father started showing similar symptoms about an hour later.
Ng said her elder brother, from the same village, rushed them to the hospital.
Her mother’s death was identified as food poisoning with neurological manifestation resulting in respiratory failure and irregular heart rate, possibly due to toxin ingestion from eating the pufferfish.
She was buried at the Chamek Chinese cemetery on Wednesday.
Ng said her father is still in a coma at the intensive care unit and the hospital is trying to treat the infections in his body.
This tragic event has caused Ng to ask that the government regulate the sale of pufferfish.
“I do not intend to blame anyone. I hope my parents’ experience can create more awareness among the public about consuming such fish or food with high levels of toxins.
“It is frustrating to know that people knowingly consume pufferfish. Do not take it for granted that nothing will happen to you,” she said.
Ling Tian Soon, Johor health and unity committee chairman said pufferfish could be deadly unless properly cleaned as the marine animal contains potent toxins which causes severe illness and even death.
In Japan, only highly qualified chefs, who know how to remove the toxins, are allowed to serve the fish but in Malaysia there are no such regulations.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories; remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don't already have one. Review our
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.