Thursday January 10, 2013
Sect leader believed to have taught followers to use weapons
By R.S.N. MURALI and RAZAK AHMAD
MALACCA: The leader of the deviant sect arrested in Jasin is believed to have been teaching his followers on the use of the large cache of weapons which police found in his bungalow.
The Malacca Religious Department (Mais) said that some of the more enthusiastic followers had surrendered to the man cash and belongings, including jewellery and luxury cars.
At least 70 people have been identified as active members of the sect, but Mais believes that hundreds more had come under the influence of the man who called himself an imam and claimed to possess supernatural powers.
The man who hails from Muar in Johor first preached his deviant teachings in Tengkera early last year before moving to Jasin.
He had many visitors seeking cures for a variety of ailments and himself went door-to-door offering his services as a bomoh.
The man being detained to help investigations had claimed that his mission was to wage war against supernatural beings trying to harm humans.
Mais learned about the sect after receiving complaints from dissatisfied “patients” of the 46-year-old man, who also claimed to be a perfect human being capable of healing any disease.
After weeks of surveillance, police raided the bungalow in Simpang Bakoh on Saturday and found dozens of swords, keris, axes, machetes, 308 types of bows and arrows, spears, and 23 canisters of gunpowder.
Mais understands that the police are interested to know why the group was armed.
In KUALA LUMPUR, the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) said it was ready to help Mais rehabilitate people misled by the sect.
“We will assist in any way we can such as by dispatching our experts and making available our facilities,” said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Mashitah Ibrahim.
Aside from facing criminal charges relating to the weapons found, the group leader and members can be charged under the Malacca Syariah Offences Enactment 1991 for spreading false teachings, an offence punishable by a maximum RM3,000 fine and up to two years in prison.
The followers can also be ordered to undergo rehabilitation.
Villagers: Only outsiders came to see sect leader