• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 7:19am
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...

China slams Malaysia over 'chaotic' response in hunt for missing flight MH370

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.


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Marcus T Anthony
I don't think it is any secret what the Chinese think about their neighbours. I don't think I have ever heard a positive comment about any of them from a Chinese person.
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!
Marcus T Anthony
Looks like my observation isn't very popular. Sorry if it caused offence. But I am just reporting what I observe. I live with three mainland Chinese people, and every day I hear comments about Indians, Russians, Japanese, Malaysians, Vietnamese, Thais, Philippinos etc, and all of the comments invoke negative stereotypes. And all you have to do is look through comments here to see more. I doubt Malaysians are all stupid and obsessed with gay sex as some other posters have stated (no dislikes for those comments, interestingly enough - perhaps there's some truth to what I'm saying) Maybe it's time to think about this issue and find ways to address it rather than pretend it's not happening. After all, with situations like the one with the missing plane, Asian countries have to work together, not ridicule and shame each other. That's the main point I am making.
it is difficult to not slime malays when their constitution is so apartheid against non-bumis.
The malays also tend to shoot themselves in the foot all the time. thats why everyone in the region just see malaysia as a basket case.
the one obsessed with gay sex and shooting in your own foot is you since you yourself is a Malaysians and insulting yourself.
As for yhe wotchdoctor thing, he was not hired by anyone and came on his own for publicity, many Malaysians even the Malays are livid that his stupid act is recorded, its a shame for us Malaysian to bear. We are also,sorry for the poor performamce of the crisis managememt team, I would be mad too if I have loved ones in that plane amd not get info.
The best is to pray and hope for the best. Many Malaysians regardless of race are like a host of a home and worried sick our our nationals and guests aboard MH370.
Marcus T Anthony
I am Australian caucasian. I have no links to Malaysia, but visited KL once. I noted no rabid obsession with homosexuality or widespread stupidity - I just experienced a fairly typical multicultural society. As far as I could tell they are human beings much like you and me.




SCMP.com Account