• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 5:50pm
Malaysia Airlines flight 370
Flight MH370

Video: Chinese ridicule Malaysia’s recruitment of ‘witch doctor’ to track missing plane

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 March, 2014, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 March, 2014, 6:57pm

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!"

More on this story...

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Malaysia feels the heat over response to missing flight

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.


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This article is now closed to comments

As a good friend of mine remarked....." I wonder how it would play if there were a headline 'UK ridicules over use of "Wind and Water Juju" in locating Bank's Headquarters in HK'?"
I think we'd hear a never ending torrent of abuse and 'hurt feelings' from the Chinese blogosphere. This is just China being racist and feeling superior,.......again.
People have differing belief systems which they turn to in an effort to explain things they cannot understand, or when needing some degree of solace. However ill-founded or ridiculous others may believe that to be, let's try to maintain some level of respect.
Yes, the Bomoh's comments are a bit silly, but that may just be down to education. Leave these people practice what they wish. Their intention is honourable and they are seeking/hoping for the same outcome as everyone else.
When people are at their wits'end, they find hope and relief where they can and that is often a matter of culture. it is sad that some find foreign culture-bashing a matter of routine. I say eat your apple and leave me to my pear. If in times of need you kindly extend a hand to help me, do so without filling it with all your jugments, it will impediment the very help you pretend to offer.
I'm surprised the SCMP would publish such nonsense. it seems more and more of it's articles are based on blogger's comments. What type of journalism is that? In HK we have all sorts of religions and belief systems and their associated rituals. Noone will walk around ridiculing them in the media.
Malaysia has it's own culture too. Unfortunately plane crashes are sometimes unexplained and wreckages go missing for days, months and years. Sad but true. The degree of bitterness and nonsense reported on in this tabloid is truly stunning.
I appreciate the effort put up by Malaysia. The Bomoh himself is also risking his reputation. Please let them try. There is no harm. Keep your negative comments unless you can do better.
Have more faith in witch doctor finding black box with coconut and bamboo binoculars than in the HK government.
Agreed. Just like the people who are attending temples in Beijing to pray that survivors will be found. It's all just hocus-pocus.
I agree with the above comment. Basically China only loves itself and nobody else. Look around you and see with which countries China has disputes, it is bloody amazing!
The Chinese are the most superstitious people I know.....so please do not criticise!
Like the Chinese are not one of the most superstitious people in the world......ridiculous.
what? Chinese people would rather have feng shui than a "witch doctor" ??
Is that it???
Don't be hypocrites, Chinese people use a lot of "spiritual services" in their daily lives.. from business to homes to lovelife... how dare you ridicule other people's beliefs and religion.



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