The Malay Mail Online Saturday April 23, 2016
A YouTube screenshot of Ayah Pin’s Sky Kingdom commune which was demolished in 2005.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 ― Ayah Pin, founder of an interfaith sect called the Sky Kingdom which worshipped a giant teapot in its commune in Terengganu, has died at age 74.
Local Malay-language daily Berita Harian reported that Ayah Pin, a Muslim-born whose real name is Ariffin Muhamad, died in his home in Besut, Terengganu, at 8.30pm last night, but did not specify the cause of death.
Ayah Pin was buried this morning near his home in the Malay-Muslim heartland, leaving behind three wives.
The cult leader reportedly became partially paralysed in 2012 after suffering a stroke.
Ayah Pin’s Sky Kingdom commune, which he founded in Terengganu in 1975, was demolished in 2005, with its structures of a giant teapot, vase and umbrella torn down on orders from religious authorities.
Australian paper The Age reported in 2005 that prior to the demolition of the Sky Kingdom commune, which was open to followers from all religions including Islam, some 30 people had attacked the compound with petrol bombs.
Ayah Pin was also reportedly imprisoned in 2001 for 11 months on an apostasy charge, while four of his followers were jailed after publicly renouncing Islam. Fifty-eight sect members were also reportedly arrested in 2005 for violating a Terengganu state fatwa banning people from associating with Ayah Pin.