Dear Anwar, Guan Eng, Mat Sabu, how many more must die?

Posted on June 27, 2021


God’s peace be with you.

I write to you because I do not have any friends on the other side of the political divide and hope that with the 3 of you, one or more might heed what I have to say here.

I am quite sure that like most other elected reps, you, too, are now quite focused on the matter of convening the sitting of the Dewan Rakyat at the earliest possible.

I am going to ask you to put that matter aside for a while and give your attention to what I have to say.

Malaysiakini reports today that the cumulative death toll arising from the Covid-19 pandemic is 4,884.

Of these, do you know how many died from 1st June, 2021 until yesterday?


Almost half of the total deaths occurred in the last 27 days!


Let me now bring into focus an all-important matter.

The drug, Ivermectin and its role, if any, in this pandemic.

I am sure you have all heard of this but if you have not, I think the first thing you need to do is get rid of the Covid-19 advisors around you and, to help bring you up to speed on this matter, I will organise a webinar for you and all other law makers to fully understand the issue at hand.

And this issue is rather straight-forward.

On 16th May, 2021, Malaysikini reported the Health DG as saying two things.

“Without the benefit of evidence from well-designed clinical trials, the MOH is not yet able to endorse Ivermectin to prevent or treat Covid-19 illness. Science remains the best weapon against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, not circumstantial hype”

In other words, there was no conclusive, science-based evidence that Ivermectin was an effective tool in dealing with the disease.

“The Health Ministry (MOH) Malaysia has initiated a randomised clinical trial to repurpose Ivermectin and evaluate its efficacy and safety in high-risk Covid-19 patients”

Please note that the clinical trials that he speaks of are in relation to high-risk Covid-19 patients.

This matter of the clinical trials is an important point which I will come back to later

Fast forward to 21st June, 2021.

MAECC, a coming together of 5 health and wellness groups together with an Islamic consumer NGO, held a press conference to call on the government to immediately approve the use of Ivermectin in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Bernama reports that the group claimed that “Ivermectin was a very safe drug that has recently been noted to have very useful and powerful benefits in the treatment of Covid-19”

FocusMalaysia reported that at the press conference, MAECC shared the following data, published in the American Journals of Therapeutics on June 17, 2021 :

  • Used prophylactically, Ivermectin could reduce COVID-19 infection by 86%.
  • Large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible.
  • Using Ivermectin early could reduce numbers progressing to severe disease.

whilst The Star reported Dr Amir Farid Isahak, speaking on behalf of the group, as saying, “It is one of the safest drugs. The scientific data for Ivermectin is compelling,”

Both the Health DG and this group of doctors have taken diametrically opposing views on the availability of cogent, compelling science-based evidence on the efficacy of Ivermectin in dealing with Covid-19.

Both cannot be right on this.

Who is right and who is wrong and how ,many more must die before this is answered?

Maybe these reports will assist.

CNN reported on 5th May, 2021 that a sixth hospital in the Philippines had received compassionate special permit (CSP) to use ivermectin on COVID-19 patients.

Based on the document below,  Indonesia on 5th May, too, ministerial support was given for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) of Ivermectin.

Surely the government can verify with their counterparts in Indonesia if this is correct

Reuters reported on 13th May, 2021 that two Indian states “have said they plan to dose their populations with the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to protect against severe COVID-19 infections”.

Four days ago, on 23rd June, Reuters reported that University of Oxford was testing ivermectin as a possible treatment for COVID-19, reporting that “Ivermectin resulted in a reduction of virus replication in laboratory studies, the university said, adding that a small pilot showed giving the drug early could reduce viral load and the duration of symptoms in some patients with mild COVID-19”.

Closer to home, on 25th June, Free Malaysia Today reported that the ministry of health had said that hospitals can apply to the Drug Control Authority to use Ivermectin for off-label use including treating Covid-19 patients.

“Like any other medicine, including Lopinavir and Kitonavir, if there is a strong indication that it can be used, hospitals can apply to the Drug Control Authority for off-label use,” the ministry is reported to have said.

This statement from the health authorities is quite telling given that it was made in response to it coming to light that a hospital in the Klang valley had administered ivermectin on a Covid-19 patient.

Did this hospital apply and receive approval and, if so, would this mean that the Drug Control Authority (DCA) was of the view that there was a strong indication that Ivermectin can be used to treat Covid-19?

If so, would this not mean that the DCA, like MAECC, are not with the DG on his views on Ivermectin?

The Reuters report on the two states in India rolling out Ivermectin to their population to protect against Covid-19 made reference to the statement in March this year by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Ivermectin. This statement is so telling, I will reproduce it in full below.

The current evidence on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients is inconclusive, Until more data is available, WHO recommends that the drug only be used within clinical trials.”

Compare this statement with that of the DG and it would appear so uncannily similar that one must ask how much our DG has been influenced by these and similar statements by the FDA of the USA and the EMA?

The DG must also explain why the trials that his ministry are to undertake are confined only to Covid-19 patients who are already in the critical stage, when most, if not all, of the studies that MAECC have drawn our attention to point to the highest utility of Ivermectin as a prophylactic and as a therapeutic for those in the earlies onset of the disease?

As I write this, Malaysiakini has just reported that, today, 60 lives were lost to Covid-19.

So I ask you again, Anwar, Guan Eng, and Mat Sabu, how many more must die before we get to the bottom of this question?

Is the evidence on the efficacy of Ivermectin in preventing and treating cases of Covid-19 such that its use should not be delayed?

Should I organise that closed webinar for you and your fellow parliamentarians?

Posted in: Covid-19, Ivermectin