See More on Facebook

Politics

A bomoh and an ex-beauty queen? Two potential candidates in Malaysia’s upcoming election

A bomoh and an ex-beauty queen may be candidates in Malaysia’s 14th general election.


Written by

Updated: April 19, 2018

A bomoh and an ex-beauty queen may be candidates in Malaysia’s 14th general election.

Ibrahim Mat Zin, Malaysia’s notorious “Bomoh King,” announced on Tuesday (April 17) that he plans to run as an independent candidate for a parliamentary seat in the country’s north-western state of Perak, The Star reported.

The 68-year-old shaman first came to the world’s attention in 2014 when he conducted two rituals outside Kuala Lumpur International Airport, convinced that the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 could be located with the help of some coconuts, his bamboo binoculars and a “flying” carpet, according to The Star.

The “Bomoh King” made another well-publicized appearance with his trusty binoculars in the wake of the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, last year. Wading into ankle deep water at a Malaysian beach, Ibrahim conducted a ritual involving the binoculars, two coconuts, five bamboo “cannons,” a carpet and a bowl of seawater to protect the nation from a North Korean attack.

The following day, he performed a ritual outside the National Institute of Forensic Medicine at Hospital Kuala Lumpur, where the body of Kim was kept.

Now, the shaman and other members of his Malaysian Silat Association Seni Silat Gayung Ghaib Malaysia have their eyes on a bigger prize – though Ibrahim insists they are motivated by a desire to do good.

“This is not a gimmick, we truly want to help people who are suffering. 27 members from my association will be contesting nationwide as independents,” he told reporters at a press conference, according to The Star.

Mr Ibrahim added that he would not resort to gimmicks during the campaigning period.

“I sincerely want to help the people. If I win, I plan to share my wealth and I will give my MP’s salary to poor people from all races,” The Star quoted him saying.

Meanwhile, in a little-known sub-district in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, a former beauty queen may be gearing up to battle an ex-journalist and candidate for the ruling Barisan Nasional Joniston Bangkuai.

There has also been much speculation recently that law graduate Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas will be the opposition’s candidate in the sub-district of Kiulu.

The 29-year-old is not the first in her family to enter politics – her mother was involved in the now-defunct Parti Akar while her uncle Louis Rampas was the PBS assemblyman before Bangkuai took over, according to The Star.

Rampas has tried her hand at many trades, and was a singer, model and personal trainer before turning her attention to politics.

Victory for the Parti Warisan Sabah candidate may be within reach, as the incumbent Bangkuai narrowly won the 2013 election by a majority of just 44 votes.

Rampas has downplayed reports about her candidacy and pointed out any decision to field her in Kiulu lies in the hands of the party’s leadership, The Star reported.

“I still don’t know if I will be contesting against Datuk Joniston. But whoever it is I am going against, seasoned politician or not, my focus will be on winning the majority vote,” she said, according to The Star.

Warisan party sources confirmed Rampas was the likely choice for the seat, although former PKR candidate Rhodes Panilau, who is with Warisan now, was also being considered.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Nadia Chevroulet
About the Author: Nadia is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

Xi: Step up fight against corruption

The president calls for more measures to be taken against corruption. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, called on Friday for all-around efforts to fight corruption and improve the nation’s oversight system to secure even greater strategic outcomes in full and strict governance over the Party. Xi, China’s president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark at the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in Beijing. The sweeping victory that has been secured in the anti-graft campaign must be consolidated by strengthening deterrence so that officials “don’t dare to, are unable to and have no desire to” commit acts of corruption, Xi said. To this end, anti-corruption efforts in financial fields should be stepped up, particularly in key projects, areas and posi


By China Daily
January 14, 2019

Politics

Fugitive Jho Low says no connection between 1Mdb and China

Jho Low rubbishes Wall Street Journal report about China’s alleged role in 1MDB probe. Fugitive businessman Jho Low has dismissed a report by the Wall Street Journal linking China to Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB as “a continuation of a trial by media” led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. The Journal said in a report on Monday (Jan 7) that senior Chinese leaders offered in 2016 to help bail out 1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MDB, which is at the centre of a swelling, multi-billion-dollar graft scandal. The report cited minutes from a series of previously undisclosed meetings. Chinese officials told visiting Malaysians that China would use its influence to try to get the United States and other countries to drop their probes of allegations


By The Straits Times
January 10, 2019

Politics

Malaysian rulers to pick new king by the month’s end

Previous king stepped down in unprecedented move on Sunday. Malaysia’s Conference of Rulers will meet in about two weeks’ time to elect the country’s new constitutional monarch and his deputy after the King, Sultan Muhammad V, stepped down on Sunday in an unprecedented move. The 16th King, or Supreme Ruler, and his deputy will be sworn in at the end of the month, Keeper of the Royal Seal Syed Danial Syed Ahmad said in a press statement. Yesterday morning, six of Malaysia’s nine ruling monarchs held a meeting at the national palace, Istana Negara, following Sultan Muhammad’s decision to step down as the Malaysian King. “The rulers att


By The Straits Times
January 8, 2019

Politics

Taiwan’s ruling party DPP elects moderate as new chairman

The by-election comes after a disastrous local election cycle where the pro-independence party lost heavily. Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) elected a new chairman on Sunday (Jan 6), choosing a moderate to fill up the post vacated by President Tsai Ing-wen after the party’s disappointing performance in recent polls. Mr Cho Jung-tai, a consensus candidate backed by major party figures, took 72.6 per cent or 24,699 of the ballots cast by party members, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA). The former Cabinet secretary-general comfortably defeated Mr You Ying-lung, an openly pro-independence rival who supported a re


By The Straits Times
January 7, 2019

Politics

Preview: A year of elections for Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia will have a busy political calendar in 2019 with voters in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines heading to the polls within the year. Thailand In December, Thailand lifted its ban on political activity that has been in place for the past four years as the kingdom prepares for a general election on Feb 24—the country’s first in eight years. The last election the country attempted, in 2014, was sabotaged by anti-government protesters acted to prevent the Pheu Thai Party and its head Yingluck Shinawatra from returning to power. Pheu Thai went on to be ousted by a coup led by then-army chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha and has spent the last five years under military rule. Since then, the military junta has rewritten the Thai Constitution in a wa


By Quinn Libson
January 7, 2019

Politics

Previewing Sheikh Hasina’s fourth term

A unanimous poll decision leaves Sheikh Hasina with many decisions to make. It is the huge gaps in the numbers of votes polled by the winners and the losers in the 11th national election that apparently unveiled a “controlled and patterned” nature of the process of polls. A foreign media commentator wondered why any “control” was exercised over BNP activists since the announcement of election schedule in September last. In his opinion, the ruling coalition or Mahajote contestants would have won by a handsome margin without keeping BNP workers at bay anyway! More so when the BNP was waffling and unprepared! In fact, a hundred BNP candidates’ deposits have been forfeited as they couldn’t even secure one-tenth of their adversaries’ tally. In BNP’s last election debacle when they had around 30 seats, deposits of only 10 contestants were forfeited. But I have


By Daily Star
January 4, 2019