KUALA LUMPUR – March 27, 2018: In what is a particularly bizarre case, a biologist who wrote to defend a traditional Chinese medicine company was instead ordered by it to apologise.
Professor Normala Abd. Latip was told by the lawyers for Wen Ken Drug Co. (Pte) Ltd. last week to publicly apologise for penning the article titled “Air Cap Kaki Tiga Bahaya?” (Three Legs Cooling Water Dangerous?)
The scientifically-backed article was published on March 10 at a local myth-busting blog called Root of Science for which Normala is one of its writers following claims about the side-effects of Wen Ken’s flagship product.
In her apology posted at the blog four days ago, Normala said she was sorry if the article, which had explained the science of the company’s cooling water endorsed by the health ministry, had portrayed the company negatively.
“I humbly apologise if my attempt to clear the ridiculous myths, untruths, defamatory statements and slanders on the product had caused any inconveniences to Wen Ken Drug Co. (Pte) Ltd.,” wrote Normala who did her doctorate at London’s Imperial College.
In the already-deleted article, Normala had not only rubbished claims that the company’s cooling water had harmful side-effects on kidneys but also an allegation that it was laden with aspirin.
Among the risks of over consuming aspirin are internal bleeding in the stomach and brain.
Normala wrote that the product contained a medicinal ingredient called gypsum fibrosum which has been commonly used by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to clear excessive body heat.
“I mentioned clearly that this product can be found on the National Pharmaceutical Registration Agency (NPRA) under traditional preparation. It has also been approved by the health ministry to be sold as a traditional preparation and does not contain any harmful ingredients.
“I offer my apology to the public for any misleading statement in my article. The article was written without any malicious intent and with my good faith to reassure the safety of the said product for public interest,” Normala wrote.
She also pleaded to the health ministry, domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism Ministry and all pharmacies in the country to remove her article, which was shared over 7,000 times on Facebook, from their websites.
Normala is with the Universiti Teknologi Mara.
The company’s lawyer, Shearn Delamore & Co., said that it is seeking further instructions from its client.