Adham Baba: I misspoke, I meant ‘500 participants’

PETALING JAYA: Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pic) has clarified his “500 countries” comment, saying that he misspoke.

“I mistakenly said 500 countries – what I meant was 500 participants from all around the world, ” he said in a WhatsApp message to The Star on Sunday (April 19).

He added that only 50 countries were participating in the video-conference at that time.

The Health Minister, during a video-conference call with Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Saturday (April 18), had said that he had gone on a World Health Organisation (WHO) video-conference call with “500 countries”.

Dr Adham and Zahid were discussing Covid-19 during the call, which was broadcast live on @zahidhamidi.fanpage page on Facebook when he made the “500 countries” comment.

“I am sure that what we’ve done has been recognised by the world, ” said Dr Adham.

To this, Zahid said “congratulations”.

“I was in a video-conferencing call with WHO – 500 nations. I was live, it was a video-conference, ” Dr Adham then said.

He added that he was then on a video-conferencing call with the health ministers from China and Singapore.

Malaysians quickly caught up on the gaffe – as “500 countries” is a far cry from the 193 sovereign states recognised by the United Nations and the 206 that were registered for the Olympic Games.

On Twitter, Dr Adham’s remarks were quickly mocked and became a meme.

“Here to introduce the most intelligent Minister of Health for my country Malaysia, even the world! Who else can conference call with 500 countries beside him?” wrote @DarrenLoveLife.

A user with the handle @dellben86 wrote, “How many countries are there in the world today? Google: 195; UN: 193; Olympics: 206. Adham Baba: 500.”

User @A_Skywalker_ wrote, “So far I have only travelled to 10 countries - 490 more countries to go.”

“My dream is to travel the world, to (all) 500 different countries, ” wrote @WanNurSyaira.

Even official accounts of companies were playing along, with @GSCinemas writing “Breaking: Wakanda is one of the 500 countries”, referring to the fictional African nation featured in Marvel’s Black Panther blockbuster movie.

Dr Adham’s “500 countries” comment came fresh off last month’s warm water fiasco when he said that drinking warm water can prevent one from getting infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19).

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Nation

Bersatu stands by Muhyiddin, says Deputy President
CITF taking measures to prevent congestion at PPVs in Klang Valley
Dr Wee expresses condolences to family of victim who died in LRT3 mishap
Confusion over BN letterhead to media on support for Muhyiddin
Thorough probe to be conducted into LRT3 construction site mishap, says Prasarana
Covid-19: Melaka govt offering columbarium niches for those facing financial problems
Najib stands with Perikatan Nasional government, but not Muhyiddin as Prime Minister
Follow SOP to reduce Covid-19 infection rate, IGP urges public
Covid-19: Cluster linked to JB Aidiladha visit among 36 new clusters
Dr M calls for PM and Cabinet to resign

Stories You'll Enjoy