If you are staying outside of Malaysia and Singapore, then you may not hear of the local taboos after dark. There are many sources from where this belief stems from. Mr. Ong has shared some of his ideas and I have added some that I have heard from the elders:
· Mr. Lau was once the chairman of Gong Tau Association in Malaysia. He advised us not to “dry” white or black clothes outdoor at night, as they absorb “Ying” energies. Also, avoidance of flying “Kong Tau” (Thai black magic) at night.
· In East Coast of Malaysia, especially in Terengganu state. As a kid, I was told that few Malay women in our area worked as “bidan” (midwife) to serve women who are delivering infants. They carried scissors, cotton etc in their baskets. We were asked to retrieve all our hanging clothes in the evening, during the “returning moments” of her unseen spiritual helpers to her house. I believe that the ‘spiritual helpers’ here referred to ‘Hantu Penangalan’, flying head ghost, Malai Ngai or Phi Phop and the like. It is believed that the ‘juice’ dripping from the internal organs of this creature will cause bad luck and skin diseases.
· When it is dark, one should walk in the middle of the path so far as possible and that he/she should avoid walking along walls or leaning against the wall. It is common belief that the ‘flying needles’ would travel along the walls and whoever are in bad luck shall be hit by these flying needles and fall sick or even died.
· One should not whistle after dark as the high pitched whistle noise will attract spirits such as a Pontianak. This is especially true if it is a rainy Friday night. I had a friend when I was still small in Kuala Kangsar who liked to whistle at night. Once I found him absent from school for a few days and I decided to pay him a visit. To my surprised, I found his mouth slanted one side with a swollen face. So, I asked him of what had happened and he told me that he was slapped by a lady in white while he whistled during a thunderstorm night. Suddenly, a gust of wind blew right at his face and he seemingly saw a female figure that gave him a slap on his face. My guess was that his whistle has attracted a Pontianak but when the Pontianak came, it thought it was the call of its own kind; but found a playful boy instead. Hence the slap was a warning sign.
· Many gamblers like to employ ‘tangki’ (medium) to ask for lucky numbers at night in the wilderness, especially near an anthill. Especially that one should not offer raw meat or blood as this would attract a tiger spirit and the tiger spirit will not retreat without a taste of human blood. When I was staying in Padang Rengas, a neighbor went into a jungle nearby with a medium. After some conjuration, a tiger spirit by the name ‘Dato Hitam’ (Black Grandpa) possessed the medium. The Dato Hitam started to consume the food offerings until all of the food stuffs we eaten and the spirit wasn’t satisfied; it wanted more and this tiger spirit then asked for human flesh and blood. But the neighbor refused the request and the tiger spirit was agitated. It then started to eat the medium’s right palm bite by bite! Hence, this is a warning to all gamblers out there to think twice before wanting to perform any similar rituals.
That’s what Mr. Ong and I can provide for now… If you have any more similar believes; then let me know so that we can preserve these old grandpa stories of yesteryears for our next generations to come.