The Star (Malaysia), July 30, 2003
PETALING JAYA: Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin has cautioned Malays against being drawn to a newly exposed cult that operates on donations and a mix of retail businesses.
The Kedah-based cult, which uses young Malay boys to collect donations and sell items like calendars and books outside shopping complexes and petrol stations, is now believed to be operating in the Klang Valley and is aimed largely at Malays.
The cult’s activities were highlighted by a Malay daily yesterday.
According to the daily, the group’s leader was alleged to have made religiously deviant claims about himself and his movement.
Zainuddin said members of the group had also tried to use him last year when he attended a charity event in Bidong in his capacity as the president of the Utusan Malaysia Veterans Club.
“I was told this group liked to have their pictures taken with government figures so I refused to meet them when they said they would send a convoy of bikers to meet me in Bidong.
“Later, they tried to make a donation to our club, which we also refused.
“I did not want to acknowledge them,” he said.
He also encountered members of the group in Labuan when he went for a function.
“I know they are also into alternative health like reflexology and herbal medicine,” he added.
Zainuddin lamented the ease with which Malays tended to be misled by such dubious movements.
He blamed it on politicians who had used religion to mislead Malays in their thinking and lifestyle.
“It is not surprising that many Malays have fallen for the teachings of these politicians who insist that things which really happen are sandiwara.
“This was clear during the Al-Maunah episode when these politicians trivialised a real-life tragedy as government conspiracy,” he added.