When the inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar and ‘Raja Bomoh Sedunia’ finally meet, it will be as hilarious as any P Ramlee comedy. The IGP could perhaps become a comedy film star when he tires of catching cartoonists and sending tweets.
Raja Bomoh, whose real name is Ibrahim Mat Zin, has gone into hiding. Both the IGP and the Federal Territories Islamic Department (Jawi) are searching for the Teluk Intan octogenarian, for tarnishing the image of Islam.
This charge is denied by the bomoh, who claimed in an interview that for the past seventy years, he had been protecting Malaysia from harm. If he is the Malaysian equivalent of Captain America, it would seemingly be wrong for Jawi and the IGP to arrest him, with tensions running high between us and the North Koreans. Don’t we need all the protection against evil that we can get?
Do the authorities think they will succeed in finding Raja Bomoh? He has an arsenal of weapons, which the entire Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) budget cannot buy. The closest the Americans have to Raja Bomoh’s magic carpet is the Stealth bomber, but even that multi-billion ringgit flying machine cannot travel through a parallel dimension, like Raja Bomoh’s flying carpet.
The bomoh made his debut at KLIA in 2014, when he turned up unannounced to help locate the missing aeroplane, MH370.
Many people were angry with him for disrespecting the families and victims of MH370. Others were furious that he was mocking Islam.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin claimed to have told the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs, Jamil Khir Baharom, to arrest the bomoh. The Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) agreed that Raja Bomoh’s rituals were alien to Islam. No arrest warrant was issued.
Last week, Raja Bomoh finally succeeded in attracting the attention of the authorities. At a mangrove beachside location, he unleashed the hidden power of several bamboo cannons to protect Malaysia from an impending North Korean inter-continental missile attack.
Why did it take three years for the IGP and Jawi to finally put a stop to Raja Bomoh? Why is an arrest warrant supposedly being issued only now? Something does not add up.
Raja Bomoh and the IGP are worlds apart. The IGP warned the bomoh not do anything silly, as he was embarrassing the Malays and confusing them with his polytheistic practices.
We were entertained when Raja Bomoh used coconuts, bamboo telescopes, a rotan fish trap and a magic carpet for his rituals. We were not amused when the IGP arrested Zunar, the cartoonist, for wearing a mop on his head, because the IGP said that it was an insult to the judiciary.
Why did the IGP not ransack Raja Bomoh’s home and confiscate the tools of his trade? Is he afraid the bomoh will put a spell on him? He did not hesitate when he raided Zunar’s office and carted away all his books and artworks, nor did he think twice before raiding a private event held at the Selangor Chinese Assembly a few months ago, where Zunar launched one of his books.
Last week, the Federal Territories mufti, Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri, said that Raja Bomoh had to be stopped from practising anti-Islamic, animistic rituals.
Funny how he did not say anything about both the Jerlun MP, Othman Aziz, nor the Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who allegedly claimed that Najib Abdul Razak was “The Chosen One” to lead Malaysia.
Joining in the attack
Joining in the attack against Raja Bomoh last week were the Perlis mufti, Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, and the Perak deputy mufti, Zamri Hashim, who said that Perak had issued a fatwa against Ibrahim’s rituals.
In 2015, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) revealed that a two-year study had formulated a standard operating procedure (SOP) to combat the use of witchcraft. How much of the education budget was used to fund this study?
Did these learned ulama issue a fatwa against Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) for selling anti-hysteria kits which cost RM8,750 to schools? At least Raja Bomoh claimed that he does not want money, for ‘protecting’ Malaysia.
In 2014, the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia organised a forum for local Muslim doctors to reconcile their beliefs in spiritual being and black magic with modern medicine. The topics included ‘black magic phenomena in medical cases’ and ‘djinn possession in mental health disorder’. It was alleged that the forum was funded by the Selangor Zakat Board.
Did the religious authorities speak out against these universities and the Zakat board? Did they say anything about a former PAS cleric, who died recently, who was said to have indulged in these bomoh practices?
Despite their Islamic faith, many Malays still believe in the power of the bomohs, some of whom have amassed great wealth. Was it the disgruntled bomohs who lodged several police reports against the celebrity Raja Bomoh?
One wonders how many family members of those who are persecuting Raja Bomoh will visit a bomoh this year.
Would the IGP dare to prosecute the bomohs who are consulted by one of Malaysia’s more prominent families?