Malaysian prodigy Sufiah Yusof became a prostitute. Sufiah Yusof menjadi pelacur.

Do you still remember when a while back, our nation was put in awe with the news of Sufiah Yusof, a child prodigy, being accepted into one of world’s most prestigious university, Oxford, when she was only 13? Ever wondered what happened to her?

Well, after years of tormented life under her dad’s guardian (so it seems), and a failed marriage, she now calls herself Shilpa Lee and work as a £130-an-hour prostitute in Manchester.

Here are a couple of news articles:

From winning a place at Oxford, to running away to become a waitress at an internet cafe, to tying the knots at a young age, to becoming a £130-an-hour prostitute.

What a transformation huh?

From genius to hooker.

Also, consider this little fact. Her dad, Farooq, was also jailed recently. For what you ask? Well, for molesting two 15-year-old girls when he was tutoring them for maths!

I guess if you look at the facts surrounding the case and put two and two together, you may come to the conclusion that this is a classic example of a child being pushed too “hard”. A child who was forced into an “education slavery” far too young without letting her being able to enjoy her childhood.

I believe that most of what she had done in the past was an act of defiance. A mutinous act against her father to illustrate “Hey, stop pushing me around. I need a life too!”. Though, of course, not knowing the actual specifics of the case, we can only speculate.

So, the big question: Even if your child is a genius, is it worth it to force-feed a child like that, pressuring him or her to the limits (or beyond the limits for that matter), and slaughtering his childhood life?

Fine, that kid must be amazingly brilliant academically and he might perhaps graduate from a university when he’s 10, 12, or even 15 years old, but what can you achieve from that? Is a 10-year-old degree holder equipped with sufficient REAL-LIFE knowledge and able to cruise through life? How are their “street smart” meters measuring up?

All in all, I believe that pressuring a child too hard and putting him/her through the system too early is not a way to go. Yes, finishing up the traditional schooling system a tad early might be fine, but not to the expense of the child not being able to have a childhood. Yes, teach him physics and maths but also remember to equip him with the knowledge (or at least the experience) of main guli, and main galah panjang. Let him experience how it feels like to participate in school activities, becoming a debater, being in the police cadet (Kadet Polis). Let him experience how it feels like hating a teacher or sneaking in a comic book to school. Let him be able to have a crush on a fellow school mate and blush when that person smiles at him. Let him be able to say “Yay yay, Ahmad jatuh. Yay yay, Ahmad jatuh” when his friend falls off a chair.

In other words, let the child experience growing up.

Yes, find ways to stimulate and challenge his abilities, but not only focusing on the academics side but also practical (real life) side. Most importantly (as I’ve mentioned time and time again), let the kid grow up in a normal way!

Saya rasa, budak genius tapi lurus bendul, tak guna jugak.

So there you go, my thoughts on this issue.

P.S. The folks involved with Adi Putra, do exercise caution with that kid yeah?


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