Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

Categories: Asia

The world knows this woman as Mona Fandey, but her real name is Nur Mazna Binti Ismail. She took a euphonious pseudonym in her youth, when she took her first steps on the stage of Malaysia. Then everything worked out for her, as it did later, when Mona changed her sequined dress and microphone for the mantle of a shaman-bomoh and began to serve the spirit of the tiger. It is this ancient deity that many blame for the terrible tragedy that shook the whole country.

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

In the 80s, it was difficult to find a more popular pop singer in Malaysia than Mona Fendi. The singer was bathed in money and fame, and her ambitions could be envied by American stars. Fendi called one of her albums released at the peak of her fame "Diana", and one of the songs in it told about the invisible connection between the fate of the singer and the British princess.

But the fame of Mona Fendi turned out to be fleeting, because in fact she did not represent anything special. The old contracts ended, but no one offered new ones, new faces flashed on television, for corporate parties and clubs, the repertoire and image of the singer was no longer relevant. Therefore, not yet an old Fendi had to re-search for herself in this life.

Fortunately, the performer who lost the audience still had good connections and it was a sin not to use them. Therefore, when Mona proclaimed herself a bomoh-a priest of the traditional Malay religion, she already had money clients. But what is bomoh and why did this "profession" become a way out of the financial hole for the former star?

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

Folk Malay beliefs that reigned before the advent of Islam and Buddhism, find echoes in the hearts of local residents to this day. For a Malay, a bomoh is a priest, a shaman or, if you want, a sorcerer who helps to maintain contact with the subtle world. People believe that with the help of the power and skills of a priest, you can find out the future, find a thief or a missing person, get rid of an illness or... defeat political opponents.

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

A real bomoh, before gaining power, goes through a difficult and dangerous path of initiation. It is not known exactly how the rites take place, but everyone in the country is convinced that the candidate for bomohi is carried away in the evening by the spirit of a tiger in the jungle. There, the beast kills the victim, rips off her skin and devours her. In the morning, the spirit resurrects a person who is reborn by the already powerful bomoh and returns him home.

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

Thanks to the abundance of acquaintances in high society, Mona never sat without a job and began to earn more than she once did on the stage. At the same time, the sorceress was not petty and worked only with serious politicians, preferring members of the ruling UMNO party in the country. It was from there that Mazlan Idris was born, who paid for his superstition not only with money, but also with his life.

Sitting in the government of the state of Pahang, MP Mazlan Idris was educated in the United States and therefore looked down on his colleagues. The politician considered himself a man of advanced views, but the craving for progress in him strangely got along with ancient folk superstitions. Idris stayed too long on the periphery and he wanted to become the governor of the state and the prime minister of the country. This led him to the house of Mona Fendi, who specialized in ambitious politicians.

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

Mazlan Idris

On July 2, 1993, Mazlan Idris entered the doors of Mona's mansion, never to leave it again. Bomoh demanded a fantastic sum from the client — 2.5 million Malay ringgit, which at that time was more than half a million US dollars. The deputy brought about a fifth of the amount in a diplomat in the form of cash, and the rest of the "gratitude" looked like a gift for land.

Mona Fendi was supposed to perform the mandi bunga ritual-which attracted success and scared away evil spirits. As a bonus, Bomoh promised a trusting client a walking stick and a songkok cap of Indonesian President Sukarno. The head of a neighboring country was considered a sworn enemy of Malaysia, but he was respected, and everything connected with him was considered strong talismans for good luck and power.

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

The room where the murder took place

In addition to Fendi and Idris, the woman's husband, Mohammed Nur Effendi Abdul Rahman, and her assistant, Juraimi Hassan, participated in the ritual. During the ritual, Mona asked the client to lie on his stomach, and she sprinkled flower petals on his back, suggesting that money would soon also be showered on his head. At this time, according to a conditional sign, Hassan approached the box with a machete and took off the deputy's stupid head with one blow.

Many were sure that the murder was planned in advance and Mona knew that Idris would not leave her house alive. It is believed that the murder was committed for selfish purposes — Bomoh could not give the guest what he wanted, and the dead, as is known,cannot demand money back.

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

This version is also confirmed by the fact that immediately after the murder, Mona and her husband Mohammed took cash and went to the capital — Kuala Lumpur, where they began to spend it at a staggering speed. Fendi bought herself a premium Mercedes and a lot of branded outfits, and her husband bought himself jewelry and plunged into drunkenness. In addition, the former singer did what she had dreamed of for a long time — rejuvenated her face with plastic surgery.

Juraimi Hassan, who stayed to look after the house of Fendi, broke the idyll of the murderers. Having received his share of the loot, the man plunged into a drug frenzy and began to behave inappropriately. He did everything to make the police interested in him and this happened. As soon as the deranged Hassan was brought to the police station, he demanded a pen and paper and in one breath rolled out a frank confession to the murder of the deputy.

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

Mona's husband Mohammed (left) and Juraimi Hassan (right)

At first, no one believed the drug addict, who was clearly not himself, but then, having found out that Idris could not be found anywhere, they decided to check the information. The Pahang state deputy was found in a shed, in the courtyard of Mona Fendi's house, at a depth of about two meters. The corpse, devoid of skin, was cut into 18 parts, and some of them clearly lacked meat. This gave reason to suspect the murderers of cannibalism, but experts could not prove cannibalism.

The capture of Mona and Mohammed was only a matter of technique and soon all three participants in the murder were sitting in the cells. It seemed that Fendi was not at all concerned about her situation, nor the threatening accusations, nor the prospect of being hanged. She demanded to bring a bag with outfits to the prison and, while the investigation and trial were going on, she dressed up like a pop diva for going out. The mood with her husband was also excellent, which confused the police, judges and journalists a lot.

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

Mona Fendi's House

The case was resonant and millions watched its progress. Mona Fendi blew kisses in front of the television cameras and shouted: "I have never had so many fans, thank you, people of Malaysia!". When the court announced the death sentence to all three murderers, she also did not take it too much to heart, and for the last dinner she ordered several dishes from the KFC restaurant.

Gone with the tiger: why pop star and shaman Mona Fendi cut off the head of a deputy

The case of the bomoh woman and her henchmen was so extraordinary that it affected the judicial system of Malaysia. After the trial of the deputy's murderers, the jury trial was abolished in the country, which, according to the government, delayed the processes and contributed to the spread of stupid rumors. Also, the story of Mona Fendi has influenced the culture of the country — many short stories and detective stories have been written based on it, the horror film "Dukun"was released in 2018.

Oddly enough, there are many places in the modern world where witchcraft flourishes, and people are ready to get involved in dubious rituals in order to get money, power and health from cultists.

Keywords: Money | Deputy | Witchcraft | Malaysia | Death penalty | Trial | Murders | Shamans

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