IT is the time of the year when people stock up on abalone.
And to prepare for a Chinese New Year feast, a Selangor man paid RM2,800 ($1,226) for 48 cans.
Mr Sun Kam Wah thought he was getting a bargain when he saw a popular brand of abalone being sold in a market at Jalan Ampang last week.
Sin Chew Daily reported that the tins of abalone, which appeared to be from the company, were packed in two boxes.
The seller, who called himself as Ken, claimed to be a deliveryman from the company and said he had two boxes of abalone to dispose of.
Mr Sun recalled: 'Just when I was getting suspicious, he opened one can to let me sample the abalone.
'I thought it tasted real so I bought it.'
He said that just to be on the safe side, he asked a friend to go to the market to taste the abalone as well.
After trying the abalone offered by 'Ken', the friend also thought it was genuine.
Both men paid for the two boxes and left.
As soon as he got home, Mr Sun opened one of the tins and started eating the abalone.
|What real abalone looks like.
However, when he did, he thought it tasted like gluten.
Believing he had been conned into buying 'fake' abalone,, he made a complaint to his Member of Parliament, Mr Pan Xian Sen.
With Mr Pan's help, Mr Sun arranged a press conference where he related his experience to reporters.
He said: 'The abalone I sampled in the market was no different from the usual canned abalone.
'But when I ate it at home, I realised that it was as soft as dough.
'I suspect that to gain my trust, the vendor gave me real abalone for sampling, but sold me imitation abalone.'
Mr Sun said he was partly to blame as he thought he was getting a good offer.
He added that it was hard to tell if the abalone was fake as the packaging was similar to the real thing.
Mr Pan reminded the public not to fall for offers that seem too good to be true.
When contacted, a director of the company that markets the popular brand said that its abalone is available only in medical halls, provision shops and supermarkets, and is not sold not in markets.
He did not comment on Mr Sun's case.