By Christina Chin and Tan Sin Chow
Source: Asia News Network
A private space tour with Virgin Galactic will set you back by US$200,000 but for a tiny fraction of the price, you can instead make a trip to "heaven".
A spiritual master, who conducted a tour to hell during the recent Hungry Ghosts Festival, is organising the celestial tour where he claimed participants could bump into deities, angels and their relatives.
Tze Bei Guan Yin Centre leader Master Kek Eng Seng said participants would be charged RM150 (S$61) each for the three-hour tour on Oct 23.
However, both tours have been criticised by Buddhist groups as well as religious and cultural proponents.
World Fellowship of Buddhists (Penang Regional Centre) chairman Datuk Dr Loh Hock Hun said such tours were not part of Buddhism.
"There is no such thing as visiting hell or heaven. Do good and chant prayers so that you can earn merit and lessen your suffering," he said.
Geocosmic Centre of Yijing Metascience Research Malaysia academic consultant Dr Chuah Chong Cheng said such opportunistic tours were akin to "soul laundering".
"If you cannot excel in this earthly life, don't bother about the netherworld or the celestial heavens because these utopias cannot be reached," he said.
Kek, meanwhile, defended the tour, saying it was not something superstitious.
"We do not promote superstition. This is a long-lost tradition which was only brought to light in Malaysia recently."
Edited by: Lawyer Asad