Malaysia's controversial bomoh repents, says rituals were only for drama

Ibrahim Mat Zin has renounced his Raja Bomoh title and pledged not to repeat his bizarre rituals.
Ibrahim Mat Zin has renounced his Raja Bomoh title and pledged not to repeat his bizarre rituals.

PETALING JAYA • Controversial Malaysian shaman Ibrahim Mat Zin, also known as Raja Bomoh, yesterday apologised for his bizarre rituals, admitting that they were pure drama.

He also said that he has repented for mocking Islam.

Ibrahim admitted at a press conference organised by the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) that his rituals were only for drama.

"All of it was drama, the shaking of the bamboo sticks. I couldn't see anything inside. I was told to shake the sticks. I took the coconuts as if they were bombs. I didn't know what I did was wrong," he said, adding that he conducted the rituals only because he loved the country, the people and his religion.

He renounced the Raja Bomoh title at the press conference and promised not to repeat his "viral" antics that have been seen by people all around the world and caused embarrassment to the country.


Ibrahim claimed he was instructed by "someone" to conduct the rituals, although he did not name the person.

He said: "I was instructed by someone to do all this drama to protect their own interests... When that person asked me to do it, I was the one who was at the receiving end.

"I slept at the Dang Wangi lock-up for two days and in Jinjang for three days. I have repented, I promise I will stop all these rituals."

Ibrahim, 66, was charged in the Syariah Court after his arrest last Friday over his rituals. He pleaded guilty to charges of insulting Islam or causing people to have a negative perception of the religion.

Jawi director Abdul Aziz Jusoh said that because of Ibrahim's age and health, he was released on a good behaviour bond for six months and is to be monitored by the Federal Territory Mufti's office.

Last month, Ibrahim performed a ritual outside the National Institute of Forensic Medicine at Hospital Kuala Lumpur over the assassination of Mr Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Ibrahim first made headlines in March 2014 when he conducted two rituals at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, supposedly to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2017, with the headline 'Controversial bomoh repents, says rituals were pure drama'. Print Edition | Subscribe