The funeral took place today of a Taoist medium – Lim Ba, 68 – who died while performing a human steaming ritual as part of a Nine Emperor Gods prayer session in Malaysia.
The ritual, according to the Telegraph, involved Lim Ba sitting on a wooden platform above a bubbling wok covered by a giant metal lid.
Half an hour into the performance devotees witnessing the event heard banging noises. As the lid was opened, the victim was found unconscious.
The famous medium had been performing the ritual for ten years, but having undergone heart surgery last year.
The Star in Malaysia reported that the medium was cremated today after a five-day wake.
Dozens of his friends took turns to carry his coffin in a procession for a distance of about 400 metres before he was loaded into a van for his final journey to Nian En Memorial Park.
The procession was followed by Lim Ba’s wife Ch’ng Siew Hong, children Lim Wei Ling,37, Lim Wei Ru, 33, Lim Kang Huai, 32 and their spouses.
This followed a funeral ceremony which was held at his home at Lubuk Pinang in Kerpan.
Lim Ba was not a well man when he chose to repeat the steaming stunt he has been performing for ten years. He had undergone a heart bypass last year due to on and off breathing difficulties and was also on medication for hypertension.
The ritual is one of the many acts performed at festivals in multi-ethnic Malaysia, designed to depict immense physical strength and endurance.
Ethnic Chinese make up a quarter of Malaysia’s 31 million inhabitants, with the majority following Taoism, a philosophical and religious belief system rooted in Chinese and Buddhist customs.
Hat tip: Gill Kerry