A Malaysian shaman was reportedly asked to perform a ritual that would help rescuers find Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
Armed with coconuts, a walking stick, a carpet and “zam zam” water, Ibrahim Mat Zin, also known as Raja Bomoh Sedunia Nujum VIP, held a ritual at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where MH370 took off from before disappearing.
Bomoh is the Malaysian word for shaman.
A representative of the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Department said the government welcomes help from anyone, including shamans, so long as their practices don’t undermine Islam, Malaysia’s state religion, Free Malaysia Today reported. Who exactly invited him has not be verified, but some Malaysians and Chinese are saying it was the Prime Minister's office.
One commenter on the Chinese microblogging site weibo, claiming to be Malysian said "I felt 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. Stop losing Malaysia's face!"
That welcome appears to be short-lived with officials too. The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS), a Malaysian government board, is stationing officers at KLIA to prevent Ibraham from performing again because the JAIS believes his rituals go against Islam. Ibrahim used at least one Islamic element in his ritual, a bottle of Zamzam water that comes from a holy well in Mecca, but he is not affiliated with Islam.
JAIS deputy director of enforcement Hardi Mohd Sadali said he wouldn’t hesitate to arrest and charge Ibrahim Mat Zin and other shamans. “We have advised him not to perform the rituals like the ones he performed. If he persists, we will take action,” he said.
Free Malaysia Today noted that Ibrahim has performed rituals in relation to other major disasters before, and has earned a reputation for them. He told Free Malaysia Today that he thought MH370 was either still in the air or had crashed into the ocean and said he was performing the rituals independently and not at the request of any government officials.
“The purpose of the rituals is to weaken the and spirits so that the rescuers can find the plane if it indeed had crashed,” Ibraham was quoted as saying.
You can watch Ibrahim’s ritual via the South China Morning Post, below.