The Star today reported on ‘4D fortune teller’ who was arrested for in connection with a cheating case worth over RM1 Million.
Of course most of think that the guy got what was coming to him, however the question becomes how do we say a ‘4D Fortune Teller’ was cheating–to the point where we can charge him in court (under section 420A of the Penal code). The report goes on to state that:
DCP Mohd Shukri said the man would distribute pamphlets in various areas, highlighting his supposed ability to predict lottery numbers.
“When he gets a call from someone interested in his service, he would tell the person to deposit money into his bank account to perform special’ prayers to get the lottery number.”
“He would also scare the victims by telling them they would suffer bad luck if they did not deposit the money,” he said.
My only question is, why was this one particular person singled out?
Why not go after the entire Feng Shui industry in Malaysia–after all don’t they promise the same thing? Isn’t Lilian Too doing nothing more than promising her customers better luck? Isn’t this guy doing the same thing–promising his customers better luck (albeit in more concrete terms)
We haven’t even begun to talk about how Financial institutions make predictions of the stock markets by placing ‘buy’, ‘sell’ or ‘hold’ calls on various counters–does anybody do a thorough analysis on these calls to make sure they’re nothing more than just random guesses? In fact for the most part, many studies have shown that Index funds (that simply buy all the stocks in a given index at a weighted average) do better than actively managed funds (where a fund manager actively selects counters from a specific index).
This article from Knowledge@Wharton states that:
A parade of studies has shown why: Index funds, which try to simply match the performance of a broad market sector, have consistently beaten “actively managed” funds, where professional money managers attempt to outperform the market by picking the hottest stocks and bonds.
Over the 23 years ending in 2009, actively managed funds trailed their benchmarks by an average of one percentage point a year. If a benchmark like the Standard & Poor’s 500 returned 10%, the average managed fund investing in similar stocks would therefore have returned 9%, while an index fund would have returned 9.8% to 9.9%, giving up only a small amount for fees.
In fact, in 2011, nearly 79% of US based ‘actively-managed’ funds trailed the S&P500 index, abd I’m willing to bet that not many Malaysian funds do better than the KLCI either. So basically the highly paid fund managers don’t do much better than a simple average weighted algorithm.
So why then single out this one guy, when there’s an entire Feng Shui Industry, a whole bunch of Bomohs and not to mention Fund Managers that do more or less the same thing? Of course, you all know my hatred of Bomohs and pseudo-science. The point being, is that we have to be consistent, if we are charging him under section 420A, that means he ‘cheated’–on what basis does the court make a decision that he cheated? And if we apply the same principle to determine if this fortune teller cheated, what would become of every Bomoh, or Feng Shui Practitioner.
Lilian Too’s website goes on to say things like:
Lillian Too is living proof that feng shui works.
She says she owes her incredible luck & many successes in her career & business activities to her in depth knowledge of Feng Shui which she has been applying to every aspect of her life..
Modern science has only recently discovered that the earth’s atmosphere is crowded with powerful but invisible energy waves and lines that enable us to enjoy telephones and radios, fax machines and satellite communications.
The ancient Chinese scientists discovered the existence of these energy lines many centuries ago.
They described these invisible atmospheric lines of energy in symbolic terms, referring to them as the Dragon’s cosmic breath if they were beneficial and as its killing breath if they were unfavourable.
Feng Shui was the name given to the practice of beneficially harnessing these energy forces.
Let me break it down for you dear readers–the ‘invisible energy’ that allow us to enjoy radios, and satellite communications are electromagnetic waves, and ‘modern’ science has understood how they worked since the 1800’s when James Clerk Maxwell gave us his beautiful equations, and unless these Feng Shui Practitioners are selling Radio Antennas or Microwave ovens–all that stuff you buy made from Jade has absolutely no effect on any electromagnetic wave.
There is no harnessing energy waves,