Families in deadly ritual are Al-Arqam followers

The Star, Malaysia/October 4, 2008

Kuala Lumpur: The two families who took part in a ritual "cleansing" to cure illness that led to the death of a couple are followers of the banned deviant group Al-Arqam.

Mohd Ali Kader Mydin, 48, said his younger brother Mohd Ibrahim and his family joined their elder brother in the deviant group's activities several years ago.

He said their 50-year-old elder brother Mohd Abdul Razak, who is unemployed and a full-time Al-Arqam member, had convinced Mohd Ibrahim, his wife Rosina S.M. Mydin Pillay and their three children to join them.

"They had also been attending the group's meetings in Selayang," he said at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary yesterday.

Mohd Ali, who works at a hospital in Penang, said he had advised his brothers not to get involved with the movement but they refused to listen.

City CID chief Senior Asst Comm (II) Ku Chin Wah said police confirmed the family were Al-Arqam members and information was being gathered from four suspects who have been remanded for seven days.

He said the suspects included a 23-year-old with a history of mental illness, who claimed he had received wahyu (divine revelation) that he could cure people and was recently sacked by City Hall for indiscipline.

Initial investigations showed Mohd Ibrahim, a Telekom Malaysia technician, sought "treatment" to quit smoking while Rosina complained of a liver ailment.

"He is the mastermind who convinced Mohd Ibrahim and Rosina that he could 'cure' their illness by beating them," said SAC Ku.

On Wednesday morning, Mohd Ibrahim, 47, Rosina, 41 and their three children had gone to the flat of a relative, who is also an Al-Arqam member, to be treated in a ritual "cleansing" that involved assaulting family members with helmets and broomsticks.

A 50-year-old man, his 44-year-old wife, three sons aged 19 and 23 and a 15 year-old daughter joined Mohd Ibrahim's family in the one-hour ritual.

Mohd Ibrahim and Rosina died from head injuries and their 15-year-old niece was repeatedly beaten until she was unconscious.

The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) public relations officer Mohd Hidayat Abd Rani said only nabi (prophets) and rasul (disciples) could receive wahyu and not the common man.

He said it was against the Syariah to claim one has received wahyu.

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