Saturday May 21, passes without any incident in Bintulu – no report of people went into hiding and goes into deep depression for fear of being incinerated by volcano eruption and quake as Harold Camping predicts.
Major media outlets such as CNN, BBC and Aljazeera news reports over the last 24-hour were focusing on the suicide bombing at Kabul hospital, the middle east crisis – the usual stories that would make headlines around the world.
Nothing close to what Harold Camping – the doomsday prophet predicted happen on Malaysia’s soil except for a tragedy – a two simultaneous landslides that buried 20 children at Hulu Langat, Selangor.
Camping had predicted the so-called global “Rapture” would begin with powerful earthquakes at 6pm local time in each of the world’s regions, after which the good would be taken into heaven.
In Vietnam, thousands of ethnic Hmong converged on northwestern Dien Bien province a few weeks ago after hearing broadcasts on Camping’s global religious broadcasting network that Jesus was coming on May 21.
Hundreds were believed to be hiding in forests after security forces dispersed those who were awaiting the supposed return of Jesus Christ on Saturday, a resident told AFP.
The Vietnamese government said extremists used the gathering to advocate a Hmong kingdom but the resident said he was unaware of such talk.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper described the looming Rapture as “the fundamentalist Christian equivalent of the last helicopter out of Saigon,” referring to the US pull-out after the Vietnam war in 1975.
The fact that Camping’s predictions have been wrong before has left even high-profile people willing to make fun of him.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who is Jewish and therefore, according to Camping’s prophecy, had always been unlikely to be beamed up to sit alongside Jesus and God in heaven – said on his weekly radio show Friday that he would suspend alternate-side parking in New York if the world ends on Saturday.
The much-reviled parking rule requires New Yorkers to move their cars from one side of the street to the other to allow street cleaning to be carried out.
Some cashed in on money-making opportunities.
The Craigslist website ran tens of thousands of ads from non-believers offering to buy the worldly goods of those who believed they were going to heaven, while a group of US atheists sold hundreds of contracts to rescue people’s pets.