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Malaysian shaman who hunted for MH370 to contest election

AFP  |  Ipoh 

A Malaysian who drew widespread ridicule by trying to locate flight MH370 using coconuts and a "magic" announced today he will run in elections next month.

-- known by his nickname "Raja Bomoh", which translates as "of Shamans" -- will contest a parliamentary seat in northern Perak state as an

After Airlines flight MH370 disappeared in 2014 with 239 people aboard, Ibrahim launched a bizarre attempt to find the jet at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, from where it had set out.

He conducted a series of rituals, one involving bamboo binoculars and another using two coconuts and what he described as a magic carpet, which he claimed could weaken the "spirits" that were holding the missing plane.

Despite his best efforts -- and a major multinational search in the Indian Ocean, that was the most expensive in history -- jet remains missing.

Announcing his candidacy in the city of Ipoh, the 68-year-old recounted how he "just held up two coconuts and became an instant global star.

"I am contesting for the sake of the people. I will help the people with financial support from my salary if I win." But he is likely to find as little success in politics as he did in his ill-fated hunt for MH370 -- he is running against Zahid Hamidi, one of the most powerful figures in government.

Following the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's brother at last year, Ibrahim conducted a ritual on a beach, supposedly to protect from any attack launched by

Authorities were disturbed enough by his antics to briefly detain him.

The May 9 poll will be a tough test for Najib Razak's coalition, which has governed for six decades.

Najib has been battling allegations huge sums were looted from state fund 1MDB, and also faces a tough challenge from veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, 92, who is the opposition's prime ministerial candidate. Najib and 1MDB deny any wrongdoing.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 16:15 IST