Probe cult, Buddhist association urges Govt

PENANG: The Government has been urged to look into a religious cult said to be practising black magic healings.

Malaysian Buddhist Association (MBA) vice-chairman Rev Hui Hai said the cult had existed for at least 10 years with followers in housing estates in many states, especially Malacca.

He said the Taiwan-based cult, just like Falun Gong, used a Buddhist name yet it believed in superstition and did not teach real Buddhism.

"While Falun Gong claims to teach a form of exercise, "this cult practises black magic to heal members or those recommended by members," he said when commenting on yesterday's report on a nine-year-old boy who was tortured and abused by members of the religious cult, including his parents.

The boy was apparently beaten over several months at the cult's bungalow in Taman Taynton View, Cheras, as "punishment" for various alleged wrongdoings including theft, telling lies and sleeping during prayer sessions.

It was reported that the cult owns an electrical shop while the 43-year-old sifu (teacher) was believed to use charms and talisman from Thailand.

Rev Hui Hai said the cult's superstition might have led to the boy's beatings to "chase away" so-called bad elements.

He believed that the cult members operated businesses to support their activities and "prayed in private homes behind closed doors."

Rev Hui Hai urged the Government to investigate the nature of their clandestine activities and to take action if they were not registered.

Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) president Chong Hung Wang said Buddhists practise compassion, patience and kindness and would not condone abuse.

He said in any religion, the practise of mind training would produce supernatural powers as a natural by-product but the public should not be misled by those who abused such powers.