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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Deputy minister orders probe over 'dirty food killed Jong-nam' tweet

Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Deputy Minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has urged his ministry's staff to launch a probe based on information detailed in a satirical Twitter account.
The Twitter account which calls itself the "DPRK News Service", had claimed that Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un, had died in Malaysia due to food poisoning.
"Indigestion epidemic in Malaysia claims life of esteemed Kim Jong-nam. Unsanitary food practices of filthy Malaysian people is blamed," read the tweet.
According to Sinar Harian, Tajuddin took this tweet rather seriously and said that the matter required immediate government attention.
"I will instruct ministry officers to investigate immediately to verify the veracity of the allegations by the Twitter account because we don't want our good name to be tarnished.
"Although this is social media material, it could end up being spread as rumour and we cannot stay silent. Investigations must be done," he said.
He said his ministry has a zero-tolerance policy towards food safety.
It had been established that Jong-nam did not die from "indigestion" and was in fact assassinated, possibly with poison, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 on Monday.
Malaysiakini has informed the minister about the nature of the Twitter account but attempts to solicit comments have been unsuccessful.Tajuddin and Sinar Harian are not the first to have believed tweets by "DPRK News Service", as several popular US news agencies had fallen victim before.

According to a Washington Post report last year, the Twitter account is handled by two US citizens - a lawyer and a data analyst.
Some of the tweets, according to Washington Post, were in fact sharp commentaries of US affairs, such as this one: "Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea halts non-essential travel, trade, and cultural exchanges with North Carolina due to anti-sodomite law".
However, the most infamous "DPRK News Service" tweets revolves around outlandish claims surrounding the North Korean ruler, such as this one below.


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