Five detained in raid over alleged cult links

The Star Asia News Network/September 17, 2014

Malacca --  Religious enforcers have uncovered a cult that purportedly uses black-feathered roosters as sacrifices "to appease the spirits".

Its leader is a 60-year-old man who claims to be the successor to the throne of the Malacca Sultanate.

After a tip-off by several defectors of the cult, police and the Malacca Islamic Affairs Department (Jaim) raided a house in Merlimau, about 35km from the city, and seized books, several weapons and an assortment of items related to what is believed to be spirit worship and deviant rituals.

Two men, two women aged between 20 and 60, and a seven-year-old boy were detained after the raid.

Jaim enforcement unit chief Rahimin Bani said more information was expected to be revealed at a press conference today.

Several people who had left the group told The Star that the sect leader, a man who addressed himself as "Pak Tunku", had claimed to be the last in line of descendants of Sultan Mahmud Shah, who ruled from 1488 to 1511 when Malacca fell to the Portuguese.

He was said to have been based in Batu Pahat, Johor, before moving to Kampung Batu Gajah, Merlimau, in January this year.

His followers included professionals and students, mostly from Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Johor.

A 50-year-old finance manager from Gombak, Selangor, said: "I was shocked when a feast was held to appease supernatural beings earlier this month."

He claimed at least four reports had been lodged by disillusioned followers at the Ampang Jaya and Gombak police stations on Monday.

Another former follower said animal sacrifices were common at the cult's base.

"Black-feathered roosters are slaughtered and offered to genies in addition to boiled eggs, glutinous rice and other food placed on pieces of red cloth," said a 40-year old man.

A 61-year-old retiree from Selangor said he joined the sect with his wife and son in October last year but his wife felt uneasy after they had to recite verses contradicting Islamic teachings and persuaded him to leave the group.

However, he said his son was still with the cult.

People in the village said they were shocked when the house was raided on Monday, adding that they did not know what was going on inside as the man and his family members were reclusive.

"We only knew something was wrong when a team of policemen arrived at the house at 2.30pm. It is a surprise that such activities have been going on right under our noses," said a neighbour.

When contacted, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, who is on a working trip in Copenhagen, Denmark, said severe action should be taken against the deviant group.

"Malacca has no place for such cults and we can't afford to entertain another person claiming to be the Sultan of Malacca.

"Action must be taken against such sects and those proclaiming to be members of royalty," he said.

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