Three Wives Of Ayah Pin Detained

BESUT, July 31 (Bernama) — Three of the four wives of the Ayah Pin “Sky Kingdom” cult leader Ariffin Muhammad, 65, were detained in a house in Kampung Sungai Pinang in Tumpat, Kelantan Sunday.

They are his wife number two Che Jaharah Awang, 45, of Pasir Puteh, Kelantan, wife number three Ruzilan Mukhtar, 41, of Jerangau, Terengganu and wife number four Nik Kamariah Nik Pah, 33, also of Pasir Puteh, Kelantan.

Terengganu Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAT) commissioner Shaikh Harun Ismail said all three women were detained by a police team from the Kelantan police at about 11am.

Sky Kingdom

The Sky Kingdom is a quasi-religious interfaith commune located in the eastern Malaysian state of Terengganu.

While Malaysia has a secular legal system, the country is ruled by a moderate Muslim majority.

“Muslims in Malaysia come under the purview of religious courts that are not part of the secular federal legal system. Any attempt to deviate from Islamic teachings, or to leave the religion, can bring harsh penalties from the religious courts.” [Source]

Sky Kingdom leader Ayah Pin claims to be a deity

The group includes former Muslims

He said they were taken to the Jertih police station in Terengganu where they were handed to JHEAT officers.

“The three were re-arrested by enforcement officers of the Besut religious office at about 4pm,” he told reporters here.

Shaikh Harun said the three women would be charged at the Lower Syariah Court here Monday under Section 10 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Takzir) (Terengganu) Enactment 2001 for disobeying the order of the religious authorities by being involved with the deviationist sect’s teachings.

He said that upon conviction, they could be fined up to RM3,000 or jailed for not more than two years or both.

Earlier, Nik Kamariah had been among 21 followers of the “Sky Kingdom” cult leader who were detained during a special operation by JHEAT on July 2, and she would be charged on Aug 23.

She is among four people who would be charged under Section 14 (B) for possession of video compact discs (VCDs) which were against the syarak law.

The other 17 would be charged under Section 10 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Takzir) (Terengganu) Enactment 2001.

Ayah Pin and his four wives were earlier said to have fled from the “Sky Kingdom” commune at Batu 13, Hulu Besut, before the compound was attacked by a group of masked men on July 18.

Consequently, JHEAT had carried out an operation and detained 58 followers of the deviationist sect at the commune on July 20 and charged them at the Syariah Lower Court, here on July 21 for disobeying the instruction of the state mufti and being involved in the sect.

However, five children and a New Zealand woman of Christian faith, Judith Lilian, 54, had been freed of the charge.

Forty-nine followers of the movement pleaded not guilty to the charge against them and their case had been transferred to the Kuala Terengganu High Court for re-mention on Aug 4.

Commenting further, Shaikh Harun said JHEAT would intensify efforts to track down Ayah Pin and his first wife, Che Minah Remeli, 58, with assistance from the police.

He said those with information on the latest whereabout of Ayah Pin and his first wife should get in touch with the Besut District Religious Office at telephone number 09-6956249.

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Bernama, Malasia
July 31, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday July 31, 2005.
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