The Malaysian Press has been busy during the past few days covering the forthcoming Sarawak State Elections and the news of fake eggs being sold in a market in Penang.
The fake egg issue is the more immediate. A non-government expert on fake eggs, interviewed by the press, has warned that fake eggs are made with chemicals, which are dangerous to health. The Consumers Association of Penang has raised the issue with the government, which responded immediately by sending officers to raid the market and seize hundreds of eggs. After cracking open the eggs, the government experts declared the eggs to be real, but to be doubly sure, they decided to send some of the eggs to the Chemistry Department for DNA tests. The results have not yet been announced. Meanwhile the sale of eggs in Penang has plummeted. To ensure the safety of consumers, the government has declared that it will devise a system to ensure that only certified eggs will reach the market. The Consumers Association alleges that the Government officers confiscated and tested the wrong eggs.
The finger of suspicion has been pointed at the usual suspects--unscrupulous entrepreuners in China, who have already been implicated in faking milk powder, buns, music CDs, Omega watches, Gucci handbags, etc, etc. They seem to have now targeted Malaysia, capitalizing on the inability of Malaysians to distinguish real eggs from clever fakes. If they can fool people in Penang, they can fool people anywhere. The shop keeper from whom I buy eggs is a very worried man because he does not know how to tell a real egg from a clever fake although he has been selling eggs for 50 years. He is thinking of giving up the egg business because DNA sequencing is too high tech for him. It may be easier to sell cameras, but another friend, who sells cameras, says that one has only six months to sell a new model before it is obsoleted by the next model from the same manufacturer. The shelf life of cameras is approaching the shelf life of eggs.
Fake flowers have never been an issue with anybody. But real flowers have posed problems. There was a big scare last year with flowers that allegedly have the power to trigger cancer in people who come near them. Nobody was willing to test the allegation, and the furore seems to have died down.
On the back-burner is the issue of whether the video of an alleged political celebrity filmed in the act with an alleged prostitute is real or fake. The police have checked the video and found it to be real, but nobody is sure whether the celebrity is real. The celebrity in question refuses to cooperate with the police and hand over his DNA. The police are now looking for the alleged prostitute to confirm whether she is real.
To be continued...