SHAH ALAM: Talk of politicians using the services of shamans (bomoh) to prolong their political careers is not something new. Though it is hard to believe that there are still leaders willing to go through such great lengths in these modern times, the possibility that they do occur cannot be discounted.
Independent speaker Ustaz Mohd Kazim Elias Al-Hafiz revealed several political leaders had met him to get tips on how to be more well-liked by the people.
In Indonesia, its politicians, including the big-wigs, would not act on something without a shaman’s advice. It was said that President Sukarno had scores of shamans serving under him.
African witch doctors also play prominent roles in politics. Emperor Bokassa of Central Africa used their services on a daily basis, as did Idi Amin Dada in Uganda and Mobuto Sese Seko of Congo.
The Russian Czar Nicholas put so much faith in the bearded mystic Rasputin, who he believed had special powers and could tell the future, that he made The Mad Monk his trusted advisor.
What is strange is that Malaysians have also been influenced by these methods in gaining a political advantage.
This reminds us of the tragedy that shocked the nation some time ago, where a politician, Datuk Mazlan Idris, fell victim to a female shaman, Mona Fandey.
Mazlan, who at the time was Batu Talam state assemblyman, was not just murdered. His body was also chopped 18 times.
Mazlan was killed on 2 July 1993 in a bathroom of an unnumbered house in Kampung Peruas, Ulu Dong, Raub, Pahang after a meeting with Mona Fandey and her husband, Mohamed Affandi Abdul Rahman.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was among those who advised politicians against seeking the services of shamans to win in the elections.
He said that shamans do not guarantee wins, but good character, behavior and a genuine concern for the people do.
A newspaper report had previously exposed the existence of politicians too eager for power, influence and status that they were willing to take shortcuts, putting their religious faith aside to deal with the supernatural.
These politicians, mainly veterans, would spend big on amulets and such to help them achieve their dreams.
One of the more popular items these politicians seek, especially with the 13 th General Election just around the corner, is a piece of the kiswah, the cloth that covers the Kaabah in Mecca, which is said to have the ability to ‘sell’ its wearer; a jeweled ring worn specifically before speaking to influence the audience; and also white deer hide.
The Imam Besar of Terengganu, Aizi Saidi Abdul Aziz, asked politicians thinking of shamans in the coming elections to repent.
"It is wrong and against the religion," he said.
It is hard to explain just how influential these shamans are in looking for and maintaining political clout, but one thing is for sure, their services sell like hot cakes during every election.