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  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 5:20am
Malaysia Airlines flight 370
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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.

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This article is now closed to comments

jimmy.vick1
It is not often I agree with the Chinese government on anything, but I am behind them on this one. This is just a further demonstration that incompetent savages are in charge of a crisis... The alternative is that the Malaysian government is completely corrupt and does not want the plane found at all.
kamar.my.1
The Islamic Religious body in Malaysia (JAKIM) in 2004 had declared that Ibrahim Mat Zin, a famous bomoh (shaman) has deviated from Islamic teachings in performing his rituals. His practices show elements of 'shirk', sin of practicing idolatry or polytheism; superstition and deception. So, whoever invited him are ignorant blind followers of such uncivilized behaviours. They do not represent the true Islamic followers in Malaysia. However, they have done great harm and damaged reputations of millions of sincere Muslims in Malaysia. May Almighty Allah weaken the Satan that has been misleading him so that he can see the true path again.
josephjorah.noweb
We Malaysian continue to pray for the passengers, the crews on board the plane.
We also pray for their families and friends who are affected. We pray for our Malaysian
Government and all the countries for an offer of help. We hope that the missing plane
can be located as soon as possible
josephjorah.noweb
Bomoh ( Shaman )
Magic, spells, enchantments, charming, sorcery, wizardry, witchcraft.
Research has shown that occult magic is often fraudulent and deceitful illusion
counterfeit miracles. Occult magic or divination are a manifestation of demonic powers
or the result of demon possession(Acts 16:16). Of course, the power of Satan and his
demons is extremely limited compared to God’s power.
The Bible takes a clear position on this subject, strongly denouncing these practices.
Bomoh (shaman)
Regarding Raja Bomoh Ibrahim Mat Zain perform rituals
at KLIA aimed at solving the mystery
of Flight MH370′s disappearance.
The ritual aimed at weakening bad spirits so rescuers would find
the plane if it had crashed.Their props included a ‘magic carpet’, a ‘magic walking stick’,
coconuts and water from Mecca’s Well of Zam Zam. They also used bamboos as make
believe binoculars and a fish trap to determine the fate of the plane.
To my opinion this kind of ritual will only create confusion to the already confused Muslims in Malaysia, who often see the black magic as a ‘cure all’ for everything.
Searching the missing plane MH370 by using the most sophisticated Technology is the best solution. We really thanks those countries for an offer of help to look for the
missing Aircraft even though there is still no trace where the missing plane is.
Stephan
The Chinese are the most superstitious people I know.....so please do not criticise!
req
Hey, does someone have to pay for this?
lucifer
Like the Chinese are not one of the most superstitious people in the world......ridiculous.
eeustacio
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.
pmp200
To south china morning post , prepare your company to be sue if your reporter keep spreading lies as your article press to the world regarding mh370 updates ... Please be sure on the facts first it's Integriti of truth confirm with authorities first before publishing ... This Sharman is not an act of effort by Malaysian government in helping to find mh370 no one ask him to be there and doing this .. Authorities now is put around the clock in finding and catching this Sharman as this is not what Malaysian Islam nations ways in helping mh370 .., we Muslims never stop continuesly doing Hajat prayers on safety and finding this air craft .and the govt 24/7 is searching with others govt in finding this plane ... We Malaysian Muslim also condemned this Sharman act as khurafat wrongly preaching out of Islam it self ... So for south china morning post next time check with authorities before publishing something to the world ... Don't speculate and tell the truth .. Apreciate what Malaysian govt is giving facts that really true and confirm by authorities even though see as slow but consistant and scyconised with all authorities ... Please be sensitive of all passenger family fealling ... And work together not against in not giving up in finding as promise to all mh370 family ... Again I stress get the right facts ... There all 12 country involved in this finding all agreed upon the areas of finding .. There are working ... But what are we doing ..
renivyong
I don't know who is going to sue who, like the Chinese is really afraid to get sue, only in the Malaysian Kangaroo court & rubber stamp by the government. The Sharman act have done more good than all the Ministers clump together. He gave comic relief and best entertainment which of course reflect how the Malaysian government have been running all these years is a freaking joke & a circus. PMP200 stop threatening the mainland chinese they are not malaysian chinese to take that lightly & STFU!
rsallen
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.
jaswinderpalsngh@yahoo.com
"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!
lucifer
It's called being asleep at the wheel...
jaswinderpalsngh@yahoo.com
lol scmp finally fiixed it.
tomonday
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
charlie212
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
xiaojiang66
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.
THC
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.
mankydanky
Have more faith in witch doctor finding black box with coconut and bamboo binoculars than in the HK government.
chuchu59
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?
newgalileo
Chinese can make fun of the "witch doctor". What's the difference with going to burn incense at the Lama Temple, going to church, or consulting a feng shui guy? Not that I agree with the witch doctor but before people ridicule others, they better look in the mirror, especially the Chinese who are overly superstitious and find that all normal, oh yeah, 3,000 years of traditions. Instead of complaining, what was China doing with its "advanced satellites"? Which country is the first to cover up anything going wrong?
burn.raj.9
Isn't that widely practiced by top administrators?
peterkee
Agreed. However silly, supertitious, illogical and uneducate the practice of bring in witch doctor to locate the missing plane is, to have the Chinese ridicule the Malaysian for resorting to a Bomoh is little 'like the pot calling the kettle black'. The Chinese are by far the most supertitious people in the world with their fung shui, fortune telling and prayers of fame & fortune.
On another note, I can just see if they fine the plane in the next few days, people giving the Bomah the credit, rather than the fact there are +40 ships, 39 planes and multiple satellites scouring the South China Seas. People sometime are so gulible, especially those who are uneducated and have no sense of logic.
Regardless, I do hope they find the plane soon, the wait for family and friend must be excruciating.
fink
Meanwhile, Chinese superstitions are causing the extinction of most of Africa's endangered animals. How amusing.
giggsy72
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.
donniemcm
Well their beliefs and methods are their own business.
But "China deployed 10 satellites" and still found nothing, this is the most laughable fact.
CatherineOhlLaw
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.
CatherineOhlLaw
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.
allan94
How do u start a small business?
First you buy a large business.
Then you hire a Malaysian to run it.
Wait 2 weeks.
allan94
knock knock?
who's there?
MAS.
MAS who?
MAS confusion
allan94
how many malaysians are needed to change a lightbulb?
None. They still cant find the lightbulb.
allan94
The key question in this mystery that everyone wants to know really is: Did anwar ibrahim sodomise the pilot before the flight?
whymak
This is the best one yet!
syracuse37
Oh Come on, what are those comments. Lets be honest in the US they have used psychic to find missing kids because they were out of options, that those make them backward or without resources. At this point all the satellite and planes and boats can't find anything and nobody has any explanation about what could have happened, so witch doctors why not, its no like Malaysia said there stopping researches and focusing on witch doctor, they just added those to the research.
ntmount
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.
jiawang@adb.org
Of course, Malaysia's officials would use a "witch doctor."
What do you expect from a country with political leaders obsessed with gay sex?
rawm
The Malaysian stupidity is beyond words.
Kubrick
Agreed. Just like the people who are attending temples in Beijing to pray that survivors will be found. It's all just hocus-pocus.
superron
I think there is a difference. Praying at a temple is more of a sign of support and sympathy not an active tool to be used to help resolve something. By actually framing a witchdoctor as an active tool to be used in a search & rescue operation is akin to using prayer in a surgical operation.
Kubrick
It's all witchcraft and shows a delusional state of mind. The trouble is people are so blinded by religion in whatever form it takes that they take comfort in this nonsense. Using a witch doctor is just an extreme example, praying to idols is lower down the scale of delusional behavior.
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.
Stephan
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.
allan94
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.
hijazzains
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.
 
 
 
 
 

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