The 'oily man' strikes fear

While most people would be in deep slumber at 2am, residents of Kampung Laksamana in Gombak were wide awake, roaming up and down Jalan Laksamana 1 in Gombak, Selangor.

Around 40 residents all divided into groups of about five to 10 people each and fully equipped with spotlights and wooden sticks were on patrol in the village located about 2km from Batu Caves that Thursday morning. Although they were joking with one another, you could feel the tension in the air.

An outsider might think that a gang rumble was on the cards. But what the residents of this village were worried about were not humans, instead they were keeping an eye out for not one, but two, supernatural beings. They are under attack from a couple of orang minyak (oily man), they claim. This village has been buzzing with sightings of the two paranormal creatures for the last 10 days.

Many residents claim to have seen and heard the orang minyak around the vicinity of the Pangsapuri Laksamana and Jalan Laksamana 1. And they all say the same thing the orang minyak are clad only in their underwear and drenched in black shiny oil. They can jump from one roof to another with ease, and vanish into thin air within seconds.

It's definitely no laughing matter, stresses Aslam Khan, 33, one of the villagers "lucky" enough to have seen them.

As he describes them, one is tall, stocky and bald while the other is thin and curly haired.

"I saw the bald orang minyak hiding behind the water tank of a house at about two in the morning. It was breathing really loudly, like a cow.

"It was black and shiny. When I shone my light on it, the thing stuck out its head to look back at me. Before I could do anything, it climbed up the roof and disappeared," says Aslam.

He says they also found the possible spot where the orang minyak conducts its ritual of reciting jampi (mantra) and having an oil bath. The villagers stumbled across the spot after chasing the orang minyak into some bushes next to the flat.

"There was a large oil patch there," he says, pointing to the ground.

Adds Aslam, the next night, they found a packet of fried rice and noodles at the very same spot. After returning about an hour later, the food was gone, believed to be eaten by the orang minyak.

Supernatural or real?

According to popular legend, the orang minyak is a person who has undertaken the study of black magic and as a rite of passage, has to rape a certain number of anak dara (virgins) to pass that course.

The villagers are worried because almost every house in the neighbourhood houses a young girl.

One, they said, has already had a nasty encounter with the orang minyak.

As reported by a local Malay daily, the 17-year-old girl did not only see the orang minyak a few times, but also felt "someone" caressing her and calling her to go out of the house.

It reportedly also locked the family members outside the house on Christmas eve, forcing the girl's brother-in-law Kamal Bahari Satar, 36, to break down the door.

"We saw a black heap underneath the kitchen table. When other residents poked it with a bamboo stick, we could see blood stains," he was quoted as saying. It then fled to a neighbour's house.

After being "disturbed" for five days, Kamal decided to move his family out of their house, and out of the neighbourhood.

Unfortunately, all attempts by Sunday Star to contact him were unsuccessful.

Although some of these stories sound incredible and illogical, it is hard to find any Kampung Laksamana resident who doesn't believe in it, even those who haven't seen it.

The residents have been carrying out patrols from midnight to dawn. Every now and then, a team of youngsters can be seen riding their motorbikes in a convoy around the neighbourhood.

During the Christmas weekend, some 200 people patrolled the street, waiting for the orang minyak to appear and many carried parangs (machetes) and axes, says Aslam.

"Until we manage to catch this thing, we are going to carry on with our patrols. I don't feel calm although I don't have a wife or younger sister," he vows.

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