PENANG: A local temple medium, who held a religious ritual so that Apple founder Steve Jobs could be reincarnated, claimed that Jobs has authorised Pulau Jerejak as the general agent of iPhone in the netherworld. The iPhone, with the suggested price of RM1.80, would be officially launched in the Qingming Festival next year.
Although the so-called reincarnation ritual requiring followers to take a bite from an apple, just like the Apple trademark, and observe three minutes of silence before throwing the apple into the sea was greatly criticised by the Federation of Taoist Associations Malaysia and several other Buddhist groups, it was still joined by about 40 people.
It was found that most participants had only little knowledge about Jobs. Some called him "the one producing Apple" and some remembered his name wrongly as "Steven Josh".
Only a few people knew that the ritual was meant to hasten Jobs' reincarnation while the remaining others were there just to enjoy a day trip to Penang or to pray for good fortune.
Apple ritual for Jobs
Take a bite from an apple equals to express your love for Jobs?
Led by temple medium Wong Sao Tian, a congregation of worshipers boarded a boat at 9 o'clock in the morning at Jeti Batu Maung to Pulau Jerejak, where the statue of Mazu, Chinese deity of the sea, was located.
After some worship rituals, Wong distributed leaflets printed with a portrait of Jobs and the trademark of Apple, so that the participants could take a bite from the apple they were holding to make it look like the Apple trademark.
He said that taking a bite from the apple meant saying "I love you" to Jobs.
However, some participants had taken more than a bite or even finished half of the fruit before throwing it into the sea as it was very sweet.
The ritual ended and Wong issued them a "participation certificate" each.
He then made an announcement saying that Jobs had been contacted and he had authorised Wong to sell iPhone in the netherworld. He said that Yama, the God of Death, would later use iPad to access to the Book of Living and Dying.
"Does it mean that a telecommunications company has to be built in the netherworld to provide services for iPhone users?" Federation of Taoist Associations Malaysia president Tan Hoe Chieow ridiculed.
Through a telephone interview, Tan said that from the Taoism point of view, deceased loved ones could receive items burnt for them but Taoist believers burned only traditional items like houses and maids.
Tan did not think that the reincarnation ritual could bring a great impact. However, he called worshipers to avoid superstitious.
Building a Steve Jobs statue
Meanwhile, Wong said that a Steve Jobs statue and a Loh Boon Siew statue would be built in a glass temple located near the Mazu statue.
In his opinion, the development plan does not require the state government's approval and he needs only to inform state Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng after the temple is completed.
--Translated by Soong Phui Jee, Sin Chew Daily