Spanish fly gaffe: Police report lodged over ‘insults’ to health minister

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A police report has been lodged against social media posts and an article for alleged insults against Health Minister Dr Adham Baba.

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This is after a clip went viral recently, depicting the minister mistakenly referring to the Spanish flu pandemic as “Spanish Fly” several times before correcting himself and referring to it as the “Spanish virus”.

Spanish fly commonly refers to a sexual stimulant – purportedly made from chemicals extracted from an insect bearing the same name.

The police report was allegedly filed by a lawyer on behalf of Adham.

The police report cited two tweets, one of which called for the health minister to be sacked, while the other shared a graphic by artist Fahmi Reza poking fun at Adham, as being inciting.

The report also took issue with a report by The Rakyat Post over the faux pas, saying it had shamed the minister.

The Rakyat Post confirmed with police that the police report is genuine.

When contacted, police informed Malaysiakini to refer the matter to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)

The MCMC, however, told the portal to check with the police.

The Rakyat Post editor-in-chief Hamzah Nazari in a tweet, appealed to Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah to ask authorities to be “gentle” if they were going to seize his devices from home.

“Please, would you ask them to be gentle as we’ve got an 11-month-old baby and my wife is four months pregnant. Thank you,” he said.

The gaffe reportedly occurred in April this year, when Adham spoke in conjunction with a Covid-19 book launch at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Previously, police investigations for criminal defamation had also been launched against Fahmi over caricatures he drew of the health minister. – Malaysiakini