Masked, Robed People Torch ‘Ayah Pin’ Commune, Damage Replicas, Vehicles

BESUT, July 18 (Bernama) — A group of unidentified people wearing masks and robes entered the “Ayah Pin” commune in Hulu Besut early Monday and damaged several structures and torched a four-wheel drive vehicle and a motorcycle.

The structures, resembling giant replicas of items such as an umbrella, a kettle and a star symbol in the commune known as Sky Kingdom at Batu 13, were damaged as a result of being torched.

The four-wheel drive vehicle is believed to belong to the 65-year-old Ayah Pin, the leader of the deviant group whose real name is Ariffin Muhammad.

Sky Kingdom

Ayah Pin and his followers – he claims to have several thousand in Malaysia, Singapore, Bali and beyond – say the two-storey-high teapot was inspired by the dreams of one of the cult’s followers, and reflects a similar vessel in the sky which God uses to shower his blessings on mankind. Followers who come to the village for the first time have to drink “holy water” pouring from a giant vase that is perpetually filled by the teapot.
Sect where blessings pour from a teapot

The windscreens of several other vehicles, believed to belong to the followers of Ayah Pin, were smashed and the doorway of the meeting hall in the commune was burnt.

According to a guard at the commune, who identified himself as Pak Ku, 80, the incident happened between 4 am and 5 am when the occupants of the commune were asleep.

The commune has 35 houses built illegally at a cost believed to exceed RM1 million, and is the dwelling place of about 150 followers of the sect.

One of the giant structures is a vessel, claimed to be Noah’s Ark.

A check by Bernama found that the commune was heavily guarded by police.

However, the situation was calm. Several followers of Ayah Pin were seen to be engaged in their daily chores as usual.

They did not seem to be bothered about the presence of a large number of policemen there.

Relating what had happened, Pak Ku said he heard three loud explosions and then heard masked, robed people warning the occupants of the commune to remain indoors.

“But I came out and found the place had been set on fire.

“I also saw several masked people setting fire to the giant replicas and burning tyres, and then all of us came out to put out the fires,” he said.

Pak Ku said that before the intruders left the commune, he heard one of them reciting the Muslim call to prayer at the entrance of the commune.

Asked about Ayah Pin, he said the leader of the sect had fled the commune and nobody, including members of his family, knew his whereabouts.

Terengganu Chief Police Officer SAC I Hussin Ismail said police had yet to determine the motive for the intrusion.

“We are investigating,” he said.

The incident drew many curious onlookers but police denied them entry into the commune.

Police also set up a roadblock on the road leading to Kampung Batu 13.

Jabi State Assemblyman Ramlan Ali and Kuala Besut State Assemblymen Abdullah Che Muda visited the area.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Bernama, Malasia
July 18, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday July 19, 2005.
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