Video: Chinese ridicule Malaysia’s recruitment of ‘witch doctor’ to track missing plane
Chinese internet users have mocked reports that the Malaysian government invited a witch doctor to help look for the missing plane.
Malaysian media reported that Ibrahim Mat Zin, a famous bomoh (shaman) also known as the Raja Bomoh Sedunia Nujum VIP, performed a prayer at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Monday to help locate flight MH370, allegedly at the invitation of one of the country's top leaders.
Watch: Malaysia hires ‘witch doctor’ to locate flight MH370, reports said
"I think the plane is still in the air or has crashed into the sea," he was quoted by Free Malaysia Today as saying.
Cynical weibo users ridiculed the conclusion. "Wow, that is exactly what I think too," one wrote, a sentiment shared by many.
One user who claimed to be Malaysian wrote: "I feel so ashamed as a Malaysian for the first time, not because of any wrongdoing on Malaysia's part but for having a brainless prime minister." The message concluded: "Stop losing Malaysia's face!"
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Many expressed astonishment that spiritual methods were being considered in the hunt for the plane as the operation entered its fifth day.
"China deployed 10 satellites, Malaysia deployed a few witch doctors," another weibo user pointed out.
Jamil Khir from the Malaysian Prime Minister's Department had earlier said the government welcomed any help in tracing flight MH370, including from bomohs, as long as their methods did not contravene the practices of Islam, Free Malaysia Today reported.
Muslims make up more than half of Malaysia's population of 22.7 million people. Bomohs are respected for their spiritual power by many in the country.
The Raja Bomoh, who has been practising for 50 years, rose to fame after offering his services in the search for victims in several major disasters in Malaysia, according to the newspaper.
These include the 1994 Highland Tower tragedy, in which a housing complex collapsed and killed at least 48 people, and the flooding in the Kuala Dipang region in 2012.
The Rajah Bomoh said he employed bamboo binoculars as one of his spiritual tools. He added that he would go back to the airport to perform another prayer in two days.
It is not unusual in parts of Malaysia for politicians to turn to shamans.
More than 200 people in the country were defrauded of a total of more than 23 million yuan (HK$30 million) in 2012 in cases involving bomohs.