Controversial bomoh released on police bail

The self-styled Raja Bomoh praying for Malaysia's protection against North Korea.
The self-styled Raja Bomoh praying for Malaysia's protection against North Korea.ST PHOTO: SHANNON TEOH

KUALA LUMPUR • The controversial shaman Ibrahim Mat Zin, also known as Raja Bomoh, was released on bail yesterday after being briefly detained by the police over a slew of complaints.

Mr Ibrahim had been summoned by the police and Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) after he conducted his signature ritual to "protect" Malaysia from North Korea following the assassination of Mr Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, reported The Star.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said Mr Ibrahim's acts had brought shame to the country and were against the tenets of religion, adding that a slew of police reports had been made against him.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Ashraf Wajdi Dusuki said police arrested Mr Ibrahim because his actions have damaged the image of Islam, reported The Malay Mail Online.

Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi also said the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department and the police have been looking for Mr Ibrahim since March 13.

Mr Ibrahim was arrested at a hotel in Johor on Friday and taken in for questioning, reported The Star.

Federal CID director Mohmad Salleh said the police were investigating the case under Section 298 of the Penal Code for words being said with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.

"We took his statement and he has been cooperating with our investigations so far. We have released him on police bail," Datuk Seri Mohmad told The Star yesterday.

The Malay shaman is infamous for outlandish rituals such as a theatrical performance outside the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary on March 13 - complete with bamboo shoots, which he used as binoculars - to "protect" the country from harm, reported The Malay Mail Online.

The bizarre performance was captured by the international press, much to the embarrassment of many Malaysians.

Jakim director-general Othman Mustapha had advised people not to pay the shaman any heed because his rituals contradict the teachings of Islam.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 23, 2017, with the headline 'Controversial bomoh released on police bail'. Print Edition | Subscribe