By Sam Sanare
I advise against buying tongkat ali, or any product that claims to be or contain tongkat ali, in Singapore, or from Singapore-based Internet traders.
I advise against it because I believe that Singapore is a dangerous source for anything in the range of herbal supplements.
Singapore is amazingly unregulated for matters concerning consumer, or patient, health. You can call Singapore the Wild West of herbal supplements, or you can refer to their attitude as Manchester capitalism. They themselves see it as just free trade.
So, while in practically all other Asian countries, any business needs a government license not just for factory-processed medications and supplements but even for factory-processed food, in Singapore, anybody can register a new company with a fancy name in half an hour for merely a nominal fee, adopt the position of Managing Director, and then use his or her garage, kitchen, or balcony to manufacture instant noodles or herbal medicines. Or distribute shit imported from China.
Anyway, free trade.
I want to cite just one example of how Singapore handles such matters.
In my previous coverage on tongkat ali in Singapore, I referred to the product XP Tongkat Ali Xtreme as questionable. Further below in this article I will explain why.
After not too long, I received a mail from the Managing Director of Bio Infinity LLP who is the manufacturer / distributor of XP Tongkat Ali Xtreme.
On the website below it is claimed that he is registered with the Singaporean Health Sciences Authority.
I have written to the Singapore Health Sciences Authority to ask whether indeed Andrew Yick’s product, XP Tongkat Ali Xtreme, is registered with them.
The Singapore Health Sciences Authority answered in a rather evasive manner, telling me that in Singapore, herbal supplements do not need to be registered.
This, apparently, also covers Yick’s questionable product.
Yeah, free trade, Manchester capitalism, get rich quick, never mind the collateral damage, in this case the health and life of unsuspecting consumers, both in Singapore and worldwide.
The Health Sciences Authority knows this. After all, they are the ones warning the public when the collateral damage gets serious: death of Singaporean citizens from the ingestion of alleged herbal supplements obtained in or via Singapore (they do not concern themselves with the deaths in other countries, from products shipped from Singapore).
Here just 2 examples:
Many more here.
Selling somebody a fake, laced, adultered medicine or alleged herbal supplement from which the person dies is considered murder for profit in other countries.
And in Singapore? It’s a reason to order products off the shelves.
One of the products ordered off the shelves a few years ago was XP Tongkat Ali Supreme.
And now, why I considered, and still consider, XP Tongkat Ali Xtreme a questionable product.
Look at the photo below.
The website distributes XP Tongkat Ali Supreme.
And look at the person listed as contact person.. Yeah, there we have a certain Andrew Yick.
Andrew Yick is now selling XP Tongkat Ali Xtreme.
And look at the packaging of the banned XP Tongkat Ali Supreme.
And now look at the packaging of the new XP Tongkat Ali Xtreme.
Pardon me for considering the new product questionable.
But the people at the Health Sciences Authority, to whom I wrote on the matter, obviously don’t care. They were not even interested enough to answer my mail on that matter. Whistle blowers who spoil the moneymaking are usually not welcome in Singapore.
Large pharmacy chains like Watsons apparently also do not care. You can find this XP Tongkat Ali Xtreme on their shelves.
Singaporeans live to make money, even if some of those who part with their money to make Singaporeans rich will die or end up on emergency and intensive care yards. Not Manchester capitalism? I propose a new entry for Webster’s Dictionary: “Singapore capitalism” – free trade in laced, life-threatening alleged herbal supplements.