JERTEH: The days appear to be numbered for the once vibrant Sky Kingdom sect commune at Kampung Batu 13 in Hulu Besut near here.
Only 11 of the 33 houses in the commune were occupied when The Star visited the commune on Saturday.
Villagers said only about 25 people were still staying there compared to 120-odd people about two months ago.
“They have no choice but to leave following pressure from the state Islamic Affairs Department for them to vacate the place,” said a villager who declined to be named.
Unlike before, villagers refused to reveal their names for fear of being targeted by the authorities.
“We have been warned not to talk to the media, failing which we will have to pay the price,” he said.
It is learnt that department officers searched the houses of three wives of sect leader Ariffin Mohamad, 65, better known as Ayah Pin, on Thursday night at about 10.30pm.
“They thought Ayah Pin might sneak back on the night which is considered auspicious for married Muslims to have sex,” said another villager.
Second wife Che Jaharah Awang, 45, third wife Ruzilan Mukhtar, 41, and fourth wife Nik Kamariah Nik Pah, 33, still lived there but declined to talk to the press.
First wife Che Minah Remeli, 58, who owns the 2.2ha land, is still on the run.
Department commissioner Shaik Harun Ismail said here yesterday that it was up to the followers if they wanted to leave the commune.
He declined to elaborate when asked about the raid at the houses of Ayah Pin’s wives on Thursday.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin also declined to comment on Ayah Pin, saying the press knew more than him.
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