Needle in banana photo sparks concern over Malaysia's own 'fruit terrorism'

Opalyn Mok
Ong poses with a copy of his police report outside the Northeast district police headquarters October 11, 2018. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 11 — A picture of a needle embedded in a banana purportedly bought at a local market has been circulating through WhatsApp the last few days, sparking questions on whether it was a prank or a real concern.

Batu Lanchang assemblyman Ong Ah Teong lodged a police report today over the photograph, urging an investigation into its authenticity.

“It was accompanied by a voice recording of a woman speaking Penang Hokkien claiming her friend’s mouth was injured after she bit into the banana and found a needle embedded inside,” he said.

He said the woman also claimed that the banana was bought from a market in Fettes Park and that there were similar cases with bananas bought in Jelutong and Batu Lanchang markets.

“I have checked with both the Batu Lanchang market association and Jelutong hawkers association, they confirmed that there were no such cases,” he said.

He said such unverified messages being spread online could affect the business of traders in the markets mentioned.

“This is why I am lodging a police report now, I want the police to investigate whether there really is such a case and who spread this,” he said.

He said the police told him that so far there were no reports of anyone who was injured due to eating a banana with a needle embedded inside.

He hoped the police will find the person who spread the message and reveal the truth behind this.

“Such messages could adversely affect traders’ business especially this month when it is vegetarian month and a lot of people will be buying more fruits,” he said.

Ong lodged the police report at the Northeast district police headquarters here at Jalan Patani at about 12pm today.

Australia was hit by public hysteria cases last month after pictures of needles in strawberries and other fruit started circulating online.

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