State news agency Bernama is reporting that a former soldier is RM8,390 (US$2,000) poorer after an encounter with a gentleman he befriended over social media who claimed he was a bomoh (shaman) who could see the future.
The Temerloh, Pahang-area victim told police that he initially became acquainted with the bomoh via social media in June, after the suspect offered up his services on the platform.
Contacting him via WhatsApp, the bomoh initially requested a payment of RM100 (US$25), but then began to seek more payments, telling the victim that he was going to perform prayers on his behalf. After the shaman’s predictions left the victim dissatisfied, the suspect also claimed he could sweeten the outlook — for a price.
Eventually, the victim ended up depositing over RM8,000 into the shaman’s account, but became suspicious when he could no longer contact the man after transferring the money.
A report has since been lodged at a Temerloh police station while authorities investigate the matter.
Modern Malaysia has had a fraught relationship with so-called bomoh, whose purported powers range from natural healing, to weather sorcery, to contacting the spirit world, to that one guy who claimed coconuts and a magic carpet could find MH370. An Islamic revival in recent decades has led many to call bomoh deviant from Muslim practices and teachings, and while some individuals still visit them over personal matters, they are often looked upon suspiciously for their wildly flamboyant claims (see: finding that missing plane).