Kathmandu, September 18
Four Nepali migrants died while 11 others took ill after allegedly drinking spurious liquor in Selangor, Malaysia, today. Apart from the Nepalis, a Malaysian, an Indian and a Bangladeshi also lost their lives, while five others fell ill.
The Nepali Embassy in Malaysia confirmed the incident, adding that the sick Nepalis were receiving treatment in three local hospitals — Hospital Sungai Buloh, Hospital Kajang and Hospital Banting.
According to Deputy Chief of Mission at the Nepali Embassy Kumar Kharel, only two of the deceased Nepalis have so far been identified — 25-year-old Bishal Budathoki and 29-year-old Sanjay Uraun.
Talking to THT over an instant messaging platform, Kharel said the embassy officials would visit the hospitals in Selangor — around two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur where the embassy is based — tomorrow after which more details of the deceased and sick would be ascertained.
“Selangor police say autopsy is under way and the actual cause of death will be known only after the report is out,” said Kharel. “However, the initial investigations showed all the men had consumed alcohol.” Kharel said police were also interrogating the owner of the liquor store from where the victims had bought alcohol.
This is not the first time Nepali migrants in Malaysia have lost their lives to alcohol poisoning, or got involved in violent incidents after getting drunk. In August, a group of drunken Nepalis got so violent that they started attacking each other using khukuris in their hostel, said Kharel.
Alcohol abuse followed by hooliganism is one of the major social problems among Nepali migrants in Malaysia and it worsens during the festive season. Cheap liquor with high alcohol concentration is popular with Nepali migrants in Malaysia, according to Kharel.
A version of this article appears in print on September 19, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.