KUCHING: A police report has been lodged following an outcry over the mysterious dumping of hundreds of kilos of chicken wings in Sungai Aup, Sibu, which were later dug up by villagers.
Pelawan assemblyman David Wong lodged the report today for an investigation to be launched on whether the authorities had taken immediate steps to prevent the chicken wings from being sold to the public.
Accounts of the incident which have gone viral on social media have led to public concern that the villagers may have carted off the wings for sale to unsuspecting consumers.
Hundreds of villagers were seen digging at the site along Jalan Quarry yesterday after the frozen chicken wings were brought in containers and dumped there last Friday.
Bernama reported that the chicken wings were believed to have been confiscated by the customs enforcement unit at Sibu’s Rajang Port. The chicken wings were from the Netherlands.
The news report said the Department of Veterinary Services website stated a ban had been issued by Malaysia on Nov 30 last year on the import of any birds from the Netherlands following an outbreak of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza, or bird flu, there.
The villagers who dug up the chicken wings at the site are believed to be from the Sungai Aup area, as well as from Bintangor, Kanowit, Pakan and Sarikei.
Wong, who is state DAP vice-chairman, said there was confusion as to who dumped the chicken wings at the site, and later buried it.
“The relevant parties should come forward immediately to explain themselves to the public to avoid unnecessary panic,” he said.
“Some news reports said that it was the Customs Department which dumped the chicken wings there but the department in Sibu refused to give an affirmative reply to the media when asked about this,” he added
He said he also wrote a letter to Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, Sibu MP Oscar Ling also called on the relevant authorities to begin formal investigations on the matter.
“The chicken wings were buried … and are very likely contaminated by bacteria that can be harmful to human health,” he told FMT.
“I must strongly advise those who have dug out the chicken wings not to consume them, if they haven’t already,” he added.
He said the authorities should find out who disposed of the chicken wings and whether proper procedures were followed in dumping possible bio-hazard materials.
Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang called for the burning of the remaining chicken wings at the site as the meat may be infected with the avian flu virus.
“If the chickens were really disposed of by the authorities, I doubt if this was the right way to do it. Instead of burying, the better way is to burn it,” said Chang, who is state DAP women’s chief.
“If the chicken wings are contaminated, this way of disposal might be harmful to both the people and the land itself,” she said.
Sarawak state local government minister Dr Sim Kui Hian did not respond to requests for comment.
The Customs Department said it will hold a press conference tomorrow morning in Sibu on the issue. Sarawak Customs director Ahmad Jii is expected to be there.