For many Malaysian men with erectile dysfunction, it is, of course, no laughing matter.
Like their brethren elsewhere with
similar problems, they are toasting over
the invention of the remedy.
Aptly called wai kor (great brother) in Cantonese, Viagra has been hailed by men all over the world as the best invention this century.
They can hardly be blamed for their
frenziness. After all, they have read
about the 70-year-old American who
dumped his 61-year old lover after just two days on the drug.
Revitalised and recharged, he must have
decided to walk away in search of
someone more exciting, probably to make
up for his years of deprivation.
Even former US presidential candidate Bob Dole admitted having tried the drug after winning his battle against prostate cancer.
In a recent television interview, Dole
said “I wish I'd bought stock
One newspaper reported that 60
Malaysians had tested the drug and
42 of the volunteers swore it was
The 60, the report added, had taken part in clinical tests last year when the manufacturer of the drug was conducting tests in several South-East Asian countries.
The uncomfirmed report, however, did not say who had testified to the effectiveness of the drug the
men or their partners.
Another report said the little blue
tablet was now available under the
counter in Kelantan, especially
along the border towns of Rantau
Panjang and Pengkalan Kubor.
But there is reason to believe that
these tablets are fakes, probably manufactured by small-town quacks.
The Viagra pill, which is seemingly “safe''
with side-effects ranging from a
headache to a flushed face and “blue
vision'' purportedly caused by overuse
is being sold at between US$7
Only the United States and Brazil have
registered the drug, developed by the New York drug giant Pfizer Inc.
Asked whether these pills had been
smuggled into Malaysia, Health Minister
Datuk Chua Jui Meng said no official
report had been received on the
“I have not set eyes yet on one single
Viagra tablet although I've heard so
much about it,'' he said.
The ministry is, in fact, investigating reports that the drug or its imitation is being sold at between RM30 and RM300 a pill.
Judging by the response from the public,
news reports on the drug certainly sell
For many Egyptian newspapers, Viagra is
front-page material. Although banned in Egypt, the drug is said to be easily available in Cairo.
It's the same in Malaysia. A colleague who wrote a satirical piece on Viagra was swamped with calls from desperate Malaysians who wanted further information.
The drug has spawned many jokes.
“Biar mati anak, jangan mati pucuk,'' said a Malay friend, playing on the saying biar mati anak, jangan mati
Another joke tells of a Malaysian who
was taking his first Viagra. In his
haste, the excited chap found the pill
stuck in his throat and immediately consulted his doctor.
The general practitoner, who did not
even take a second look at his patient, advised:
“Take lots of water, don't eat oily food, you just have a stiff neck.''
Then there's the one about a group of
pensioners who sat down to grumble about
the country's economic woes and the water crisis. Soon, Viagra became the topic of conversation.
“My life is already hard enough. I
don't need a Viagra,'' one of them was
prompted to say.
Of sobre concern now is the availability
of drug in Malaysia. According to
industry sources, it should be on sale
by the year's end.
There is no doubt that Viagra will be a
gold mine for Pfizer. Its local managing
director Razmi Rahmat said he had lost
count on enquiries received.
But no one is ready to say how much
Malaysians would have to fork out for
the drug, prompting Chua to say “we would
rather have no Viagra than to be
subjected to (price)
Urging Pfizer to be sensitive on
pricing, he said the drug must be
made affordable “because we are
in an economic crisis.''
Malaysians who have been suffering from impotency for years are unlikely to be as calm and rational as
As the saying goes, man cannot live on
bread and water alone. Economic crisis or not, certain things must go on in life.
But Malaysians should not fuss too much
over Viagra. We have had tongkat ali for
years, and those who have tried it say
It's still a Malaysian secret simply because we are not so good at international marketing and promotions.
Perhaps Malaysians should stick to
buying local products which can stand up to the test.