Many turn to divine intervention for rain

The Star, 1 Mar 2014

JOHOR BARU: With no rain clouds in sight and the dry spell causing water levels at rivers and dams to recede, many are turning to divine intervention for rain.

Ng Chin Hai, 68, the caretaker of the Johor Old Temple along Jalan Trus here, said there was a noticeable increase in visitors especially over the last week.

“Many farmers have been visiting the temple to offer prayers as their crops are failing due to the heat,” he said.

Sales proprietor Yvonne Kee, 51, said that praying to the Teochew deity Feng Yu Sheng Zhe or “Wind Rain Saint” at the temple here is a must during this season.

“We usually pray to the deity for a smooth year and he is also known for being able to summon the wind and rain,” she said.

Kee said it was sad to see how dams in the country were drying up and how many were forced to survive with rationed water or without water completely.

“A prayer may help change the current condition. Hopefully, we will see some rain clouds soon,” she said while lighting joss sticks and praying to the deity with her 19-year-old daughter Jacqueline Kee.

Entrepreneur Ho Hsien Rui, 27, said he also made it a point to pray to Feng Yu Sheng Zhe as the hot spell did not seem like it was going to end soon.

Calvary City Church senior overseer Rev Benedict Rajan also said special intentions were being made during service for the dry spell to end.

“We pray for all those suffering without water or with limited water supply and have been praying for the weather to change,” he said.

Two days ago, 600 Muslims gathered in Dataran Kemerdekaan Shah Alam to pray for an end to the long drought.

The prayers were led by Sheikh Abdul Karim, an imam from Masjid Negri.

“We hope our prayers will be answered and the rain will fill up the dams,” he said.

The state religious department has also issued a directive to all mosques in the state to perform “sembahyang hajat” (special prayers) for rain.