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