Malaysian PM Najib Razak Suffering From E.Coli Infection After Visit To Flooded Areas

A tour of duty in areas affected by Malaysia’s worst floods in decades has left Prime Minister Najib Razak fighting an Escherichia coli (E.coli) infection, believed to be food poisoning, as the country continues to reel from the aftermath of the disaster now estimated to have caused billions of ringgit in damage.

A tweet from the Prime Minister’s Office said: “Prime Minister @NajibRazak was infected by E.coli during his visit to flood-affected areas. Doctors have advised him to rest. He will return to his duties as soon as possible.”

Mr Najib’s own Twitter posting said he would be monitoring events from home.

E.coli is a bacteria widely found in the human intestine. Certain strains can cause mild-to-severe food poisoning symptoms. Infection can happen when water or food contaminated by human or animal faeces is consumed. Most types of E. coli are harmless but some can cause diarrhoea. In its worst type, it can cause kidney failure and even death, with children the most vulnerable.

Mr Najib had just returned from Bangkok where he met Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chanocha on Saturday to thank him for Thailand’s contributions during the floods.

The Prime Minister came under fire when he was on holiday in Hawaii as floodwaters were rising on Dec 27. He cut short the trip following widespread criticism on social media over pictures of him playing golf with United States President Barack Obama.

Immediately after his return, Mr Najib made several trip to areas devastated by the floods, including Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Perak, to lead the national flood response. He ordered all ministers on holiday to return immediately to deal with the crisis. “This decision was made so that they could work to assist in the flood rescue and relief operations,” said Mr Najib.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government would also have to face the daunting task of tackling the after-effects of the flood, which he described as “maha hebat” or very great.

“I believe that the damage will cost billions of ringgit. It is difficult for us to calculate,” Mr Muhyiddin said during an event yesterday to flag off the Prime Minister’s Department’s flood volunteers convoy. This figure has been revised upwards. Earlier, the east coast state flood disaster committee estimated losses of about RM200 million (S$75.5 million).

As at 12pm yesterday, the number of flood evacuees dropped to 45,033 in Kelantan, Pahang, Perak and Johor after surging to above 200,000 last week. Fourteen flood-related deaths were recorded in Kelantan, four in Pahang and three in Terengganu to date, data from the National Security Council website showed.



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