It’s the end of an era.
Over the past 3 years, it seemed you couldn’t have an international crisis in Malaysia without a cameo from everyone’s favorite mystic, Raja Bomoh Sedunia. Legally known as Ibrahim Mat Zin – with the title Datuk Mahaguru – the over 80 year old was never far from the headlines, wielding his trademark coconuts.
Most recently, he called for the pagan forces of the universe to protect Malaysia from North Korean missiles. There was also that time he was on Pekeliling Street, trying to make it rain during the El Niño season. Or you may remember him from the MH370 tragedy, during which he appeared at KLIA, claiming to ward off the evil spirits preventing rescuers from finding the plane, along with “several assistants who helped in the rituals using ‘Zam-Zam’ water, two coconuts, a ‘magical’ walking stick and carpet.” He also had with him bamboo binoculars and a fish trap hook, to help find the missing aircraft.
You can see how uncomfortable this is getting for all of us. Hey world, take us seriously! What? Behind me? A man with coconuts, sitting on a magic carpet with bamboo binoculars? Nope! Sorry, don’t know him. Let’s just pretend he’s not here, in front of international media, telling the world this is how we do things.
It took the long arm of Jawi, the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department, to reign in Raja Bomoh’s antics, and yesterday, he held a press conference renouncing his mystical ways. Speaking to a room full of reporters, Raja Bomoh said:
“All of it was drama, the shaking of the bamboo sticks. I couldn’t see anything inside it. I was told to shake the sticks. I took the coconuts as if they were bombs. I didn’t know what I did was wrong.”
He also went on to claim that there was “someone” who was compelling him to perform the rituals, although that person went unnamed.
Jawi director Hj Abd Aziz bin Jusoh has stated that Ibrahim was found guilty by Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court yesterday of insulting Islam, and causing people to have a negative perception of the religion.
To be fair, once the BBC started covering this “Malaysian Bomoh”, the negative perception reflected on the entire country.
When asked what caused his redemption, he cited two days in Dang Wangi lockup, followed by a further three in Jinjang holding. We guess that would break anyone.
Coconuts people… eat them. Don’t bring them to an investigation.