On 26th June 2009, RPK wrote:-
That is how Malaysia will solve the H1N1 problem. We shall give it a new name that is easier for Malay newsreaders to pronounce.
So, instead of calling it H1N1, we shall call it selsema babi. H1N1 is a mouthful to pronounce in Malay. H-one-N-one is four syllables in English. But if in Malay, which would be H-satu-N-satu, it would be six syllables. Selsema babi is only five syllables.
And this was echoed by Patrick Teoh in his blog:-
And our honourable (and I use this word rather loosely) ministers instead treat us to a debate on what to call the damned bug that causes the damned disease!!! The world calls it Influenza A (H1N1) And the Malaysian Minister of Health says that we should follow suit.
And then…I suppose also because Malaysian politics recently has become a tad boring for the YB’s…our Minister of Information jumps in and says, Cannot! That would confuse people. We call it Swine Flu! The original name ma.
The above 2 comments came of course after the Information Minister decided to call the H1N1 virus, “Swine Flu”.
The Minister deciding that he is one notch up against all the geniuses at WHO, started the call by naming the virus with something other than what the rest of the world is using. And why the difference between Health Ministry who is calling the virus H1N1 and the Information Minister who is calling the Swine Flu.
In any case, the Health Ministry takes lead and the rest should just follow suit. What happens if other Ministries start calling other names to suit their own itchiness – say “Truly Asia” virus by the Tourism Ministry, perhaps or the “National Security” virus by the Home Ministry? Who is confusing who?
Yes, it looks like there is already some confusion on what to call the virus – H1N1? Or Swine Flu? WHO have decided to use H1N1 as the call sign but the local politicians having nothing much to do, decided to call other names and is creating unnecessary confusion.
Anyway, let’s leave this aside for a moment – who cares what the virus is called in Bolehland, we have a general idea what we are facing at the moment.
As at todate, about 158 cases of H1N1 have been detected. Source of this record comes from the Ministry of Health who in turn picked up by the newspaper and other mainstream media.
But what about checking the current status at Ministry of Health’s website itself? I am sure that the concerned Malaysians would be interested to know the current number of detected cases, number of patients who been released, how many dead (if any), the breakdown of detection of cases by state and district, latest updates & detections in countries sourrounding Malaysia, etc.
The Health Ministry have updated their website with a H1N1 portal with a link for “Situasi Semasa” (current situation).
It is also interesting to note that Singapore despite being much smaller than Malaysia, has triple number of cases reported.