WE print the following with no editorial comment other...

salmagundi

July 07, 1994

WE print the following with no editorial comment other than an admonition to let sleeping spirits sleep.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Reuter) -- Malaysia has approved a new national research center to study the supernatural, the New Straits Times reported, amid complaints that agitated spirits are increasingly wrecking people's lives.

"It will be good if scientists and doctors can help explain such happenings through such an association," the newspaper quoted Science, Technology and Environment Minister Law Hieng Ding as saying.

Law told reporters Tuesday that his ministry would assist the new association wherever possible.

Top academics recently told the English-language daily that Malaysia needed such an association to study an increase in paranormal activity.

"More and more people are suffering from psychiatric problems and mental disorders due to the work of supernatural beings," the dean of the faculty of Islamic Theology at University Malaya, Abdul Hayei Abdul Shukor, said in a recent press interview.

"In many ways the jinns (spirits) are like us. They work, play and eat. They also have feelings, and lately these feelings have been stirred by the rapid pace of development," Abdul Hayei said.

According to the newspaper report, many people in predominantly Muslim Malaysia believe strongly that supernatural beings such as jinns exist and can affect their daily lives.

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