Since high contamination by heavy metals has been found in Malaysian tongkat ali extract, there has been increased concern not just about heavy metals in Malaysian herbal supplements but also about the danger of arsenic poisoning.
Please see this page from the Malaysian Medical Resources website:
A few years back, the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar reported that he himself suffered from unnaturally high levels of arsenic.
1 ABMH Uddin, RS Khalid, UA Khan, SA Abbas, Determination of Arsenic Content of Available Traditional Medicines in Malaysia using Hydride Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrometry, Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research Vol 12, No 6 (2013)
2 C. H. Tay, Cutaneous Manifestations of Arsenic Poisoning Due to Certain Chinese Herbal Medicine, Australasian Journal of Dermatology
Volume 15, Issue 3, pages 121-131, December 1974
3 R. Jaafar, DipDem, I. Omar, FRCSE, A.J. Jidon, MS, B.W.K Wan-Khamizar, MBBS, B.M.A. Siti-Aishah, DCP, S.H. Sharifah-Noor-Akmal, DCP, Skin Cancer Caused by Chronic Arsenical
Poisoning – A Report of Three Cases, Med J Malaysia Vol 48 No 1 March 1993
4 Sai Siong Wong, MBBCh, MRCP(UK), Kong Chong Tan, MBBS, MRCP(UK), Chee Leok Goh, MD, MBBS, FRCP(Edinb), Cutaneous manifestations of chronic arsenicism: Review of seventeen cases, JAAD February 1998Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 179-185
5 Ronald Eisler, Arsenic Hazards to Humans, Plants, and Animals from Gold Mining, Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Volume 180, 2004, pp 133-165