Sunday, July 29th, 2007
Spooky tales of headless pontianak in oil town
MIRI: Rumours about sightings of pontianak - a mythical Malaysian version of a female vampire -have been spreading like wildfire in certain parts of Tudan near here in recent days.
Despite claims of sightings of the so-called pontianak said to be headless, the police here say they are yet to receive any report.
Weve not received any report on pontianak from the public, Miri police chief ACP Abang Abdillah Abang Othman told thesundaypost when contacted for comments.
If they were any official report, he said, the police would investigate accordingly.
He urged the public to stop spreading rumours that could cause fear and anxiety, warning they could be arrested for that under Section 292 of the Penal Code.
It was said many residents of a housing estate in Permyjaya did not dare to go out at night in the past one month or so after hearing news of alleged sightings of pontianak in the area.
A resident Zaiton Abdullah claimed a fellow resident in the area told her recently that she saw a ghost - pontianak - in white clothes on top of a tree in the vicinity of their housing estate.
The resident said she saw the ghost standing on a tree as she peered out of the window one night, Zaiton said.
According to her, the pontianak story started after the death of a pregnant woman in an ambulance while on the way to the hospital for delivery.
The resident said it was further claimed that the womans body disappeared while the funeral rites were performed and the items left were the white cloth used to wrap the body and long finger nails.
Another resident, Zaidi, 35, said he had heard of people saying the pontianak would normally be seen past 11pm.
There is also another story which claimed the pontianak started appearing after a human body was found inside a dustbin.
Following the emergence of the spooky tales, a number of people were seen hanging lime tree thorns at the entrance of their houses.
Some communities believe that ghosts fear lime tree thorns and thus would not enter houses where they are displayed.
About 10 years ago, there was also a rumour about a ghost in purdah or veil.
The ghost, it was claimed, was a woman who died after she broke certain pantang or taboos.
In order to gain back her power she was said to have gone around killing mercilessly, it was said, and that ghost it was claimed not only terrorised Miri but also Kuching and other parts of the State.
The rumour some how died naturally.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Miri Islamic Religious Department asked Muslims not to be influenced by the pontianak story, advising them to go about with their activities as usual.
He said there was no such thing as pontianak in Islam.
People tend to create visions of their own and relate them in various ways, he said.