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A.K.A.: "Bomoh"
Real name: Maznah Ismail
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Witchcraft - Dismemberment
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 2, 1993
Date of arrest: July 23, 1993
Date of birth: 1966
Victim profile: Datuk Mazlan Idris (assemblyman for central Pahang state)
Method of murder: Beheading with an axe
Location: Pahang, Malaysia
Status: Executed by hanging at Kajang Prison on November 2, 2001
photo gallery

Maznah Ismail (1956 - 2 November 2001), better known as Mona Fandey, was a pop singer, witch doctor, and a murderess from Malaysia. She was executed on November 2, 2001 at the age of 45, after being convicted of the murder of a politician, Mazlan Idris, in 1993.

Music career

Mona's stint as a pop singer was short-lived. It was during this time she adopted the stage name "Mona Fandey" to boost her popularity. Her career did not really take off, but she still managed to come up with one self-sponsored album entitled Diana and made a few television appearances. She was also a water ballet dancer during her youth.

The murder

After leaving the music business, she became involved in spiritual witchcraft activities and was known to be a bomoh, a local shaman. She began offering her services to clients, mostly from the upper-class society. She also claimed to have provided politician clients in the ruling UMNO party with a variety of charms and talismans.

It was reported that Mazlan Idris, a state assemblyman for the constituency of Batu Talam in the state of Pahang, wanted to boost his political career and sought the services of Mona for assistance. Mazlan was educated in the United States and was an ambitious politician from the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party.

At that time, Mona worked with her husband Mohamad Nor Affandi Abdul Rahman, 44, and their assistant Juraimi Hassan, 31. Mona and her husband promised to help Mazlan by giving him a talisman consisting of a cane and sbatmi headgear which was supposedly owned by former Indonesian President Sukarno. Mona convinced Mazlan that he would be "invincible" if he held the talisman. In return, Mona demanded RM 2.5 million. Mazlan paid the couple RM 500,000 as deposit, and gave them 10 land titles as surety for the remaining RM 2 million.

An appointment was made for cleansing rituals to be performed at Mona's house. Mazlan was told to lie on the floor face up while Mona placed flowers on him. She then told Mazlan to close his eyes and wait for the money to "fall from the sky". Juraimi then, using an axe, chopped Mazlan's head off. They also dismembered and partially skinned Mazlan's body. His body was found in 18 parts buried in a storeroom near Mona's house in Pahang.

Trial and execution

Mazlan was reported missing on July 2, 1993 after withdrawing RM 300,000 from a bank. After the murder, Mona was reported to have been on a shopping spree where she bought a Mercedes-Benz and had a facelift.

It was alleged that the murder occurred between 10:00 PM and 12 midnight on July 18, 1993. On July 22, 1993, police found Mazlan's body; Mona, her husband, and Juraimi were arrested and a highly publicized trial began. They were tried in Temerloh High Court by a 7-person jury (trial by jury was abolished from January 1, 1995). The High Court found all three of them guilty and sentenced them to death by hanging.

Mona and the others filed appeals to the Federal Court and in 1999 the court dismissed their appeals and upheld the death sentence. Finally, the three convicts sought to obtain a pardon or clemency from the Pardons Board of Pahang, their final chance redemption. However, the board refused to give clemency. Mona, Affandy, and Juraimi were finally hanged on November 2, 2001 at Kajang Prison. A prison official said the trio expressed no remorse at the pre-dawn execution.

Throughout the trial, Mona exhibited strange behaviour including appearing cheerful, constantly smiling and posing for press photographers. She dressed extravagantly with bright and colorful designs on her dress. She also remarked, "looks like I have many fans". It was also reported that during her execution she uttered the words "aku takkan mati", meaning "I will never die", and was still calm and smiling. The last female executed in Malaysia had been Tan Bee Lee in 1994 for a drug trafficking offence.


Mona Fandey gained more notoriety than she had been when she was still a pop singer. There was wide local and even international media coverage and plenty of public interest. Anti-death penalty movements including Amnesty International voiced their opposition to the execution of the trio.

In 2002, Malaysian film director Amir Muhammad made a short film entitled Mona in his 6horts series. In 2006, a film by Dain Iskandar Said entitled Dukun was widely assumed to be based on Mona Fandey. This highly anticipated film has not been released as of December 2011 and will most likely not be released for public screenings due to concerns relating to the contents of the film, the relationship with Mona Fandey, and the implications for her family.


Mona Fandey: Witchcraft murder

Perhaps one of the most sensational and unusual cases of modern times in the Far East reached its conclusion on November 2nd 2001 when Maznah Ismail, her husband Mohd Affandi Abdul Rahman and their 31 year old helper, Juraimi Hussin, were hanged at Malaysia's Kajang Prison on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Maznah was better known as Mona Fandey, which was her stage name when she performed as a pop-singer and water ballet dancer in her younger days.

At her death she was 45 years old, while her husband was a year younger. When her earlier career ran out of steam she and Affandi made a living as witch doctors and were known locally as "bomohs." Belief in the powers of witchcraft is not uncommon among superstitious Malays and they were able to attract a high class clientele which included politicians.

The crime

In July 1993, an assemblyman for central Pahang state, Datuk Mazlan Idris, had approached Mona for supernatural help to boost his political career and climb the party ladder. He was persuaded by the couple to take part in a ritual in which he was to lay on the floor with his eyes closed waiting for the money to "fall from the sky". No money fell, instead it was the blade of an axe. Idris was decapitated and then dismembered and partially skinned. His body was found cut up into 18 parts and buried in a hole near Mona's home in the state of Pahang, about 130 kilometres north-east of Kuala Lumpur.

Mazlan was reported missing on July 2nd 1993 after he had withdrawn 30,000 ringgit (then US$12,000) from a Kuala Lumpur bank.

The day after the killing, Mona went on a shopping spree in Kuala Lumpur and later bought herself a Mercedes-Benz and had a facelift. When questioned Juraimi made a statement to the police which led to the discovery of Mazlan's remains. Unsurprisingly Mona and husband immediately became the prime suspects.


Mona, Affandi and Juraimi were tried before judge Datuk Mokhtar Sidin sitting in the Temerloh High Court in 1995, charged with murder under section 302 of the Malaysian penal code, a crime which carries a mandatory death sentence.

The trial was a media sensation. Mona and Affandi were an attractive couple in their late 30's accused of a gruesome, voodoo related murder. Mona had a penchant for wearing expensive outfits to court each day. Unlike most people on trial for her life she always had a smile for the media and seemed to revel in the attention.

The case lasted 65 days and heard evidence from 76 witnesses. The prosecution told the court that money was the motive for the killing and pointed to the shopping spree, the facelift and the Mercedes. Juraimi, testified against Mona and Affandi and revealed the gruesome details of the murder. It was alleged by the prosecution that Mazlan had been killed between 10 p.m. on July 2 and 12 midnight on July 18, 1993, in Kampung Peruas, Ulu Dong, Raub in Pahang state. His body was found on July 22 1993, buried 1.8m beneath the storeroom of an uncompleted house and sealed over with a concrete cap.

Affandi, in his defence, said Mazlan owed him two million ringgit ($526,000) for a "magic cane", talisman and a traditional hat said to have belonged to former Indonesian president Sukarno. Mona testified that she also gave talismans and charms to several other UMNO politicians to boost their popularity with the electorate.

It only took the seven member jury just 70 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict of guilty against all three defendants. Affendi and Mona smiled when the foreman of the jury delivered the verdict on the 9th of February 1995. Gulam Mustaffa Nadar Ali Khan who represented Mona and Affandi, was invited to offer mitigation but declined and said they would be lodging an appeal. Juraimi's counsel, Karpal Singh, told the court that his client was only 24, unemployed and of low intelligence.

The judge then asked them if they had anything to say before he passed sentence and Affandi and Mona replied that they would leave to the discretion of the court. He then passed the death sentence on each of them - that they be taken from court to a recognised prison and later be hanged till they were dead. After hearing her sentence Mona said "I am happy and thank you to all Malaysians." She was photographed smiling as usual as she was led from the court to prison.

Their appeals were heard by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin, the Chief Judge of Malaya, Datuk Wan Adnan Wan Ismail and Federal Court judge Datuk Dr Zakaria Yatim in the Federal Court, Malaysia's highest court sitting in Kuala Lumpur. The appeal process had started in June of 1998 but then had been adjourned until 1999 after legal arguments on the admissibility of Juraimi's statement to the police which led to the discovery of Mazlan's body. On the 13th April 1999 all three appeals were dismissed and the death sentences upheld. In April 2001 the Pardons Board turned down their pleas for clemency leaving the way clear for their executions.


The hangings were set for dawn on Friday 2nd of November 2001 in Kajang Prison. On the previous day Mona and Affandi were allowed an eight hour visit with about a dozen members of their families. It was reported that they spent their last hours advising their children from both their own marriage and their previous marriages to "grow up to be good people" and also told their children "jaga diri baik-baik" (to take care of themselves well).

A senior Prisons officer had said there was a lot of crying and hugging as they spoke to their children and family for the last time. It was also reported that Mona had said she would never die just before she was executed. It is not known what she meant by that.

It is normal practice in Malaysia for condemned prisoners to be given the food of their choice for their last meal, however this offer was declined. Apparently, according to prison sources they were very calm, saying very little and requesting nothing in their last hours.

Before dawn on the Friday morning the trio were each handcuffed and hooded in their holding cells adjacent to the execution chamber and then led to the gallows with its three British style nooses dangling from the metal beam. On the trap their legs were strapped and the noses adjusted round their necks. At 5.59am the drop fell and the three of them plummeted down.

The execution would have been witnessed by a small number of guards and officials and the prison doctor. The press and the general public are excluded. One official told the afternoon Malay Mail newspaper that they expressed no repentance at the end. "They didn't say anything, they were calm - just like those who accept that they are going to die." The executions were formally announced later in the morning by a spokesman for Malaysian Prisons Department. Jamil Razif Kassim told reporters "All three have undergone their sentence as of this morning."

The bodies were left hanging for an hour before being taken down for autopsy and then burial. Mona and Affandi were buried in a cemetery in Kajang later in the morning, while Juraimi was buried in his hometown of Port Klang, in the Telok Gong Muslim cemetery that afternoon.

After the executions Mazlan's widow, Datin Faridah Zainuddin told reporters that she could finally bury the past behind her and said she hoped now to carry on living her life with her children without the painful memories.


Malaysia hangs three for witchcraft murder

BBC News

November 2, 2001

Three people have been hanged in Malaysia for the 1993 murder of a member of the state assembly in a black-magic ritual.

The trio had exhausted all avenues of appeal after being sentenced to death in 1995 for the murder of the politician, Mazlan Idris two years earlier.

During a sensational trial, the court heard how the witchdoctor couple and their assistant chopped Mr Mazlan's body into pieces and used his money on shopping sprees and plastic surgery.

Mr Mazlan, an US educated assemblyman in central Pahang state, had originally approached Malaysian witchdoctor, Mona Fandey for supernatural help to boost his political career.


Fandey, 45, her husband Mohamed Affandi Abdul Rahman, 44, and helper Juraimi Hussin, 31, took part in a ritual in which the politician was persuaded to lie on the floor, close his eyes, and wait for money to "fall from the sky".

He was then beheaded with an axe, skinned, and his body cut into 18 pieces before being buried in a cement-covered hole.

The trial was told the motive was money - within hours the couple went shopping in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and Fandey paid for a facelift for herself.

Fancy outfits

During the trial, Fandey - real name Maznah Ismail - attracted publicity by regularly modelling glamourous outfits. She also claimed to have provided politician clients in the ruling Umno party with a variety of charms and talismans.

A prison official said the trio expressed no remorse at the pre-dawn execution.

The case has led to calls for witchcraft to be outlawed.



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