KEPALA BATAS (Malaysia) - THE public have been advised against drinking the 'holy water' showering down from a tree in Pinang Tunggal and another in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
Consumers Association of Penang rural education officer N.V. Subbarow said it was foolish for anyone to wipe their bodies and faces with the water or to drink it.
'People are merely exposing themselves to unknown risks as the authorities have yet to run tests on the water. They should be reminded that many diseases are spread by animals and insects, including leptospirosis which is spread through water,' he said on Saturday.
Thousands of people from as far as Johor and Malacca have been flocking to see the two trees since Feb 26.
Witnesses claimed that they had felt showers from the trees - a 12m-high petai tree in Kampung Lembah Raja, Pinang Tunggal and an 18m-high wild tree in Taman Ria Jaya, Sungai Petani.
Former Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia lecturer Professor Zaidi Mat Isa had said the showers could be water discharge or urine from cicadas during mating season. Mr Subbarow said those people making a fast buck from selling the 'holy water' at RM5 (S$2.09) per glass were being 'irresponsible'. 'Who is going to be responsible when the person who drinks the water falls sick?' he said. -- THE STAR/ANN