• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 2:33pm
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

Now that China has joined in the confusion by releasing satellite photos before they were sure of their relevance, perhaps the arrogant Beijing Government will be slower to criticise the Malaysian authorities.
The most likely scenario is that the plane crashed in the Gulf of Thailand but has not yet been located. All other speculation is the product of social media idiots.
"Two suspects of Kevin Lau's case were taken to North Point Police station in the early hours this morning. Photo: Edward Wong" why is this describing the top picture of the witches? SCMP and it's editors "sigh" never cease to amaze!
It's called being asleep at the wheel...
lol scmp finally fiixed it.
those idiots shaman are recruited by najib himself, they are his personal shamans, how do you think he got the top job? by being smart? you malaysians are really a bunch of laughing stock
almost as bad and funny as people who believe in this guy called jesus who could walk on water and turn water into wine and lots of other neat tricks
The Malaysian govt, though not the most competent in the neighbourhood in crisis management because of lack of experience, skills and talent, did NOT recruit this syaman. He appears at his own will and the govt although hesitant, decided not to throw him off the premises. In Chinese, the advice to this article writer is 不要对号入座.
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.
As long as the Malaysian authorities had pulled out all the stops to locate the whereabouts of the missing plane I cannot find fault with them employing the services of a witch doctor. Unfortunately they gave conflicting messages and now employing a witch doctor is easily a sign of desperation. That said, dont many of us do something similar when everything goes wrong?




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