Controversy as shaman performs ritual to help find missing Malaysia Airlines plane


Lindsay Murdoch
Sydney Morning Herald
March 14, 2014

Kuala Lumpur: As Malaysia’s government struggled to defend its handling of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, controversy has erupted over a witch doctor who carried out a ritual at the capital’s international airport, who claimed he was trying to find it.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the government had never before embarrassed itself to this extent on the international stage by allowing Ibrahim Mat Zin, the witch doctor or shaman, to perform a ritual in public that was an affront to Islam.

Malaysia is a predominantly Islamic country.

Mr Ibrahim, the witch doctor, used a supposedly magic carpet, held coconuts aloft and mimicked paddling before a group of reporters and photographers at the airport.

He claimed the symbolic ritual would help “weaken the bad spirits so the rescuers can find the plane if it indeed has crashed”.

Video of the scene went viral online, drawing ridicule around the world.

Malaysian authorities responded by sending seven Islamic religious department officers to the airport to prevent Mr Ibrahim or any other shaman performing rituals that would be seen by Muslims to be contravening the teachings of Islam.

“Anyone going against sharia [Islamic] principles will be asked to disperse and if they refuse, we will arrest them,” said an Islamic department spokesman, Zaifullah Jaafar Shidek.

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  1. #1 by Justice Ipsofacto on Friday, 14 March 2014 - 4:31 pm

    BOMOH?

    OMG.

    OMG. OMG. OMG.

    Bomoh!

    O.M.G!

    WTF.

    That is so embarassing.

    Soooo embarassing.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Friday, 14 March 2014 - 8:55 pm

    On this thing, firstly, I think he is a bloody joke and laughing stock. BUT..

    For the critical minded, if you think about it, what is difference between what this Shaman does in substance and what UMNO and especially their right-wingers/Mahathirist does ALL THE TIME AND FUNDAMENTALLY?? – Both of them exploit human weakness of dependency and weak minds.

    SO, its a bloody EVEN BIGGER LAUGHING STOCK that KJ and other UMNO leaders are criticising him – Monkey see, monkey do that is all..

  3. #3 by good coolie on Saturday, 15 March 2014 - 11:44 pm

    Let us be inclusive. Let everyone contribute in the way one can. How different is main-stream religious prayer different from the actions of this bomoh. Each is given a gift to serve humanity, and this bomoh sincerely believes he is exercising a gift from god. As long as people have a healthy dose of skepticism, no harm can come to the world from bomohs, shamans, exorcists, namboothiries, etc.

    Death is an aspect of life. We have the love of God to accompany us from the Beginning of the journey to its End.

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