Bomohs are Malaysian (and Indonesian!) witch doctors. People believe they have all sorts of powers, from having demon slaves who do their bidding in the forms of curing and haunting, to being able to forecast lucky numbers for gambling.
Every week or so there's a scandal as some bomoh is caught "cleansing" some woman's bad luck with the aid of nightly rumpty-tumpty, or bankrupting some family by demanding huge amounts of money to bring them good luck.
Even so, there are few weddings and public ceremonies where there isn't a bomoh in the background who is being paid to keep the rain away. Friends who are senior execs in big international companies tell me (while saying, "Don't tell anyone I said this, OK? Promise!") that they have a bomoh budgets for launches, grand openings, and all VIP events.
I have few friends who think all bomohs are fraudsters. For the most they admit there are bad apples, but 99% will then add, "Yeah but my aunt/boss/cousin hired this bomoh who....and it worked!" So belief is very typical.
Recently I asked a mate to reveal the occult secret of keeping rain away. Here's how it went.
Her: You have to hang up chilis at all corners of the ground you want to stay dry. Then you read holy verses.
Me: What holy verses?
Here: Any holy verses.
Me: Koran or Bible?
Me: Germaine Greer?
Me: It's holy for feminists.
Her: Be serious. Proper holy books only.
Me: Right. But what chilis?
Me: Red or green? Chili padi or long sweet ones? Single chilis or bunches? Dried or fresh? if bunches, can I tie with rubber bands or must I use ribbon or something else?
Her: Alamak! All those questions!
Me: I want to get the recipe right.
Her: Ayoh, you! Recipe?! This is magic! Not cooking!
Looks like if I ever throw a big outdoor event, I'm going to have to hire a bomoh.