Taib’s Secret Bomoh – Exclusive!

Sarawak Report

Sarawak Report can reveal that the aging Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, relies on a peronal witchdoctor, or so-called Bomoh, to make all key personal and government decisions!

The extraordinary state of affairs, which has remained a carefully guarded secret among his entourage for many years, has now been explained in detail by insiders.

“He will always consult the Bomoh before he makes an important decision, like which minister to hire or fire, or which investments to make”, one senior politician has confided.

Black magic!

Another member of the inner circle, linked closely to the family, also described how one particular Bomoh (see right) had a ‘Rasputin-like’ hold over the superstitious Chief Minister for many years.  This Bomoh died two years ago, shortly after the death of Taib’s wife Laila, and the 73 year old leader is said to be frantically searching for a new supernatural advisor, who he can trust to take him through the up-coming election period.

“He hired an interim Bomoh” one source explained, “but he clearly was not satisfied, as he has been going around Indonesia looking for a more powerful magician and he has just engaged a new one!”. 

Bomoh’s are practitioners of ‘black magic’ and are widely condemned for exploiting simple people, who do not have access to modern science and education.  Taib Mahmud’s dependence on such guidance can only be judged as unhealthy and malign.

Taib consults ‘demons’ to fight his enemies

Not so effective? Taib’s new Bomohs were publicly at work praying loudly in favour of Tufail Mahmud during a court case this year.

The devotion to such a primitive cult also seriously undermines the Chief Minister’s claims to be a progressive force in Sarawak.  Perhaps even more damaging is the impact on his carefully cultivated reputation as a devout Muslim.  The Muslim faith strictly bans any consultation of these pre-Islamic practitioners of magic and dark arts, who are considered to be bad and dangerous. The majority Christian population of Sarawak will be equally dismayed for similar reasons.

The tradition of Bomohs derives from ancient witchdoctor cults based in the Indian sub-continent and these individuals claim to gain their ‘supernatural powers’ through doing business with ‘fallen angels’ or ‘djins’ (demons).  The Islamic faith recognises the existence of such evil spirits, however it forbids attempting to make contact with them.

Indeed, Muslim teachers warn that to seek favours from Djins is to bargain with evil forces and that eventually these forces will extract a terrible price.  Moreover, people who do consult such spirits are considered to be engaging them to do unacceptable harm to others and to be attempting to effectively ‘cheat in life’. Taib is believed to have sought to mobilise these forces against his political enemies and the insiders believe he is now using them in his current battle against the Malaysian PM, Najib Razak  (who would dearly like the tarnished kleptocrat to step down before the next election).

Dependent on soothsaying

‘Ustaz’ – real identity Abdul Rahman Hazrat from Pakistan

The dismayed insiders have told Sarawak Report that they would be inclined to laugh at an old man’s obsession if the implications were not so alarming, given his position.  The Bomoh who held Taib enthralled for over 30 years was always known in inner circles as ’Ustaz’ (meaning teacher).  He would frequently accompany the Chief Minister, who, to conceal his real role, would refer to him publicly as ‘My Uncle’ .

Ustaz liked to boast that his black magic ‘talent’ was given from God.  He claimed to be able to foresee the future, heal the sick and, crucially, make the right political and economic decisions. 

“An advisor or family member might query some decision” said one of our sources, “but if Taib replied that the Bomoh had ruled on it, then they knew there could be no further argument”.

The death of Ustaz and the loss of this advice over political and economic decisions is said to have put immense pressure on the Chief Minister as he enters his 30th year in power still determined to fight another election.

Rise of a part-time shop-keeper

Ustaz, whose real name was Abdul Rahman Hazrat, never spoke fluent Malay.  He arrived from Pakistan in the 1960s and according to our sources was selling rings, spectacles and Islamic items in the town of Sibu at the time that Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan was the first Chief Minister. Hazrat claimed to be the disciple of a 130 year old teacher, who is allegedly still residing in his home country, Pakistan.   

 Taib, then 28 and State Minister for Natural Resources in Nignkan’s cabinet, was apparently introduced to to the stall-holder by the late Datuk Awang Hipni, a Melanau State Minister from Matu-Daro. It was after the ambitious young minister was sacked after failing to get along with Nignkan, that he is said to have first turned to the bomoh for advice.