No Fly Zone

You know it’s kinda hard just to get along today

Our subject isn’t cool but he fakes it anyway

He may not have a clue and he may not have style

But everything he lacks well he makes up in denial

The Offspring, Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)

Not everyone can speak off the cuff well. Particularly in public. And some politicians, well… they probably shouldn’t speak off-the-cuff in public at all, anywhere.

Adham Baba’s latest verbal blunder (FYI: Spanish Flu is not the past tense of Spanish Fly…)

Dr. Adham Baba is Malaysia’s Health Minister. And he has a spectacularly shameful track record of saying the wrong things in public. He’s one of those politicians who shot into prominence courtesy of Perikatan Nasional’s Sheraton Backdoor Coup in February 2020.

Last year the minister became the butt of netizen’s jokes when he suggested, on national TV no less, that drinking warm water could avert someone from getting COVID-19 (complete with a demonstration of how to drink warm water). Not long after, his gaffe about being in a virtual conference with 500 other countries (when he meant 500 delegates from around the world).

He became such an embarrassment that subsequently Malaysia’s COVID-19 daily situation report has since been delivered by the Ministry of Health’s Director General (save a few occasions). And you’d think the vaccination program coordination would be led by the Minister of Health, right? Well, that task (and some might add thankfully) has been taken over by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, on the pretext that this was more under the purview of that ministry.

Let’s think about it – vaccine vials and syringes aren’t exactly rocket science. And Walski suspects that the real reason is because the Health Minister has presented himself to be slightly less than inept. Yes, he’s become that big of an embarrassment. At least in Walski’s eyes.

And so it brings us to Adham Baba’s latest embarrassing mis-delivery: saying Spanish Fly when what he wanted to say was Spanish Flu. And screwed up the year as well (it was 1918).

Trust Malaysia’s premier punk-activist artist Fahmi Reza to generate a quick response!

Walski did consider the possibility that knowing what “Spanish Fly” is could be general knowledge the average Malaysian didn’t have. But Walski doesn’t think that’s the case at all; the number of people who almost immediately recognized the gaffe made was significant. And if they didn’t already know what Spanish Fly refers to, thanks to Adham Baba, Malaysia’s Health Minister, they do now.

Regardless, it’s now become abundantly clear where Adham Baba’s No Fly Zone is: public speaking of any kind!