Malaysian health minister mistakes Spanish Flu for Spanish Fly during university talk

Health Minister speaks at the Universiti Putra Malaysia on July 12, 2021. Photo: Feekry4u/Twitter
Health Minister speaks at the Universiti Putra Malaysia on July 12, 2021. Photo: Feekry4u/Twitter

Malaysians and even politicians took to social media to poke fun at Health Minister Adham Baba for slipping up during his talk at Universiti Putra Malaysia today, mistaking the Spanish Flu for the infamous sexual stimulant. 

The health minister went from health talk to sex talk in front of an audience earlier today when he said “Spanish fly” instead of Spanish Flu while pointing out how the early 20th century flu pandemic had killed millions of people around the world in two years. Adham mentioned the natural aphrodisiac not once, not twice, but at least three times before realizing his mistake that has already been immortalized in a viral video

“How is this guy even a Doctor?? Spanish Fly??” Twitter user @Feekry4u said. 

The hashtag #SpanishFly has already gotten more than 4,000 tweets and the 39-second clip shared by numerous people. 

The Spanish flu was said to happen between 1918 and 1920, infecting about 500 million people and killing between 17 million and 100 million people. Spanish fly, however, is mostly used to refer to the sexual stimulant if not the emerald-green beetle. 

Political satirist Fahmi Reza was quick to respond to the gaffe with a graphic of Adham holding up a glass with the caption “can be mixed with any beverage or warm water.” Adham once told Malaysians to drink warm water to fight off COVID. 

Former education minister Maszlee Malik responded to the video on social media with a GIF saying “Dios Mio!”, which translates to Oh My God.

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said: “DrAdhamBaba apa (what) Spanish fly?!” 

Adham even inspired comedian Jason Leong to come up with a new joke: “The Spanish Fly was a serious plague in 1916 first discovered by our Health Minister before he was born. It spread to 500 countries and was only stopped when it was discovered that the Spanish Fly virus could be destroyed by drinking warm water.”

“Buy one get one free. SPANISH FLY is good for you,” another user said, attaching a photo of the minister appearing to hold up a bottle of the Spanish fly stimulant.

A man named Zaim Al-Amin also mocked the minister, saying: “English Lesson 101: The bird flew. The bird fly. Spanish flu. Spanish fly. Betul la tu kan (That’s correct, right?). Past tense dengan (and) present tense!” 

A social media user even posted a photo of a fly greeting “Hola!” in response to the slip-up.

Comic artist Ernest Ng shared a photo of a fly in Renaissance attire, saying: “Once upon a time, our moyang (ancestors) had to deal with this enemy; the very dangerous Spanish Fly. Española la Mosca! Vamonos!” 

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