KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — The Malaysian government was again forced to deny it had invited a local ‘bomoh’ or witch doctor to perform rituals at the KLIA to locate the missing MH370 aircraft, this time with an official statement from Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who has been heading search operations.
The acting Transport Minister clarified that neither the government nor any of its agencies had any “role or involvement” in the witch doctor’s presence at the airport.
Hishammuddin’s statement comes a day after Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin spoke up in defence of Putrajaya, saying that the government had nothing to do with any bomoh incidents.
“Sometimes we just need to repeat things again and again. NO, the Msian govt did not hire witchdoctors to help find #MH370,” he tweeted yesterday.
The witch doctor, Ibrahim Mat Zin who professes to be “raja bomoh” or the king of the witch doctors, performed rituals to “locate” the missing Beijing-bound Boeing 777 jet at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in the presence of local and international media on Monday.
The event drew immediate ridicule from observers as well as Internet users who took to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to deride the witch doctors, with some posting spoof pictures of them sitting on a supposed flying carpet that have gone viral, as well as the government for allowing the three to conduct the rituals there.
Ibrahim claimed the jet carrying 239 people including 12 crew members had travelled into the “alam bunian”, a Malay description for a spiritual realm inhabited by supernatural beings.
The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) has since released a directive stating that its officers stationed at the KLIA will arrest anyone seen to be performing rituals which went against Islamic teachings.
The search continues for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane six days after it dropped out from the radar in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday.
The plane, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, went missing at around 1.40am while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, It was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6.30am.
An international search and rescue effort involving over 80 naval vessels and aircraft from at least 10 countries is currently scouring the waters surrounding the point where the plane lost contact, and also the waters in the Malacca Straits and off Vietnam.