Shamans help search for flight MH370

Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014

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Rituals by a group of shamans at Kuala Lumpur International Airport have have been criticised by Malaysia officials as the search continues for flight Malaysia Airlines MH370.

The group was led by a famous shaman, or bomoh, known as the king of the witch doctors.

At his latest appearance Bomoh Ibrahim Mat Zin, accompanied by several assistants, reportedly used water, two coconuts, a magical walking stick and a carpet. He performed the ritual with two of his assistants riding the magic carpet - one rowing and the other removing the water.

In an earlier ritual he used bamboo binoculars and a fish-trap hook.

According to reports the bomoh said the purpose of the rituals was to weaken the bad spirits so rescuers could find the plane if it had crashed.

He also said the plane had travelled into the "alam bunian", a Malay description for a spiritual realm inhabited by supernatural beings.

The appearance of the bomoh was fiercely criticised by Malaysia's Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"Who allowed them [to perform the rituals] there? Can't you see how stupid we look in the eyes of the world?" Anwar said in his speech during the thank you motion on the King's address in Parliament.

He also attacked the government's handling of the crisis, saying it had turned Malaysia into a world laughing stock.

Initially the bomoh had said he was performing the rituals at the invitation of a government leader, although he later amended that claim to say he was at the airport on his own account.

Apparently many politicians use bomohs to try to advance their careers, and the shamans regularly appear at times of national crisis.

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- Fairfax Media

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