He picks it up from News of the World, which is a tabloid; not a newspaper one could depend one's life on, so I would be a bit cautious so as to the complete truth of the story.
Sufiah was the toast of the nation many years ago when she gained entry to Oxford at the age of 13. While I was impressed about her achievement, then I was not sure if we had the right to claim her as Malaysian as her father was not.
But that's not the issue here.
I guess as we are so quick to claim her as one of us when she was successful, I believe we should not turn our back on her. While I don't claim that I know anything that could turn her life around, someone out there may know.
I don't believe that the government would be able to do much at this moment to help her; I dont know.
But I believe that this is what we as Muslims lack; a society that cares.
We are good at punishing, but have we provided enough avenues for people like her to rehabilate, without any prejudice?We would talk and talk; over many forums and ceramahs, and we would fault people left and right. You create your own destiny, we kept on telling ourselves. We tell everyone who was willing to listen, you make mistake, you pay for it.
But do we have the compassion in us to help fellow Muslims without prejudice?
And I am not talking about Sufiah alone. I am talking about many other of us who have gone astray for whatever reason.
We are quick in condemning them. We are quick to label anyone persona non grata. "You are no longer part of the family; part of the society," we would tell them, "we don't want to see you ever again."
Beyond Sufiah, there are many other Sufiahs in this country; each equally tragic.
Do we care?
While I don't know the details of the case to make any conclusion, but I guess it is time for reflection on my side as a father. I do hope that I have done my part to ensure Arif and Akmal would have their childhoods, and not push them to the brink, both in studies and disciplines. If I look at their study hours, sometime I feel they can do better and sometimes I feel that they don't have enough time in a day to complete what they should be completing.
I have told Arif many times that may be he ought to take a break with his piano and violin lessons and concentrates on his SPM. But him being kiasu on anyone overtaking him on the two instrument would not give any consideration to that option at all.
But that is not something that I have pushed on the both of them; I hope not. They would have to tell me I guess if I am.