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Monday, December 14, 2009

Recent Cases of Bomohs in Singapore

Original posted by: fahmiTHEbraveheart

To her friends and neighbours, Madam Aminah (not her real name) is a freelance masseuse who is married with three children. She lives in an HDB flat in Sembawang and the family has regular karaoke sessions. What they do not know is that the 45-year-old is also what is known as a 'spiritual healer', or tukang ubat in Malay. She claims to be able to chase away evil spirits which disturb people and haunt homes.

Her tools are a broom made of coconut leaves and a packet of salt. She sweeps the air using the broom and sprinkles some salt around the client, who will be lying down. Then, reciting some Arabic phrases, Madam Aminah claims she can scare spirits into submission and imprison them. 'I will trap the spirit in a glass jar and throw the jar into the sea so they cannot come back,' she said, adding that she has done this at least 50 times.

While bomohs, or medicine men, are believed by the Malay community to perform black magic and cast evil spells, spiritual healers are the ones who help get rid of these hexes. At least 100 bomohs and spiritual healers are believed to be practising in Singapore, said practitioners. While some might view these happenings with incredulity, the scene is, by some accounts, thriving.

A 30-year-old officer at an airline company who does spiritual healing in his spare time said: 'In the eight years I have been a spiritual healer, I have seen a non-stop flow of patients who were black magic victims or suffered from spiritual disturbances. My weekday nights and weekends are all booked up.' Bomohs came up for mention in the High Court recently in the case of an odd-job worker who was sentenced to hang for hurling his wife from the 13th floor of a block of flats in Stirling Road.

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