Sky Kingdom losing its people

JERTEH: The days appear to be numbered for the once vibrant Sky Kingdom sect commune at Kampung Batu 13 in Hulu Besut near here.

Following a mob attack and crackdown by the authorities, the followers are vacating the place where they have lived for almost 20 years.

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.

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 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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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Star, Malasia
Aug. 15, 2005
K. Suthakar

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday August 15, 2005.
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