The Tempinis diaries

March 31, 2008

The Tragedy of Precociousness

Filed under: education, malaysia — Tags: , , , — toru @ 12:58 pm

What a tragedy for the Yusof family. It is really sad. Malaysia has a rather tenuous connection to Sufiah Yusof. After she was reported to have gained admission to Oxford, the Malaysian government fell over backwards to offer her a scholarship just because her mother was Malaysian. I believe that she wasn’t even Malaysian and her father was Pakistani. Whereas the other child prodigy at that time, Chiang Ti-Ming, was completely ignored by the Malaysian government. Full story here. Incidentally, Chiang’s story did not have a happy ending too.

Monday March 31, 2008
Math prodigy now a £130 hooker claim
PETALING JAYA: Sufiah Yusof, the child Maths genius who won a place at Oxford University when she was just 13, has been found to be working as a prostitute, according to a report in London’s News of the World.

Sufiah, now 23, whose father Farooq is a Pakistani and mother Halimathon is from Johor, was reported to have entertained an undercover reporter in her flat in Manchester.

Claiming that she had posted her services for £130 (RM829) on the Internet, the newspaper said she had called herself Shilpa Lee on a hookers’ website. She is said to have advertised herself as “a sexy, smart student” who preferred “older gentlemen”.

Better times: File pic of Farooq with Sufiah when she was Oxford-bound.

The story in the newspaper comes just days after her father was jailed for sexually assaulting two 15-year-old girls as he home-tutored them in Maths.

Sufiah passed the Maths A-Level she needed for entry into Oxford at the age of 12.

Three years into Oxford, she sparked a massive police hunt after running away.

At the time her father bizarrely claimed Sufiah had been kidnapped and brainwashed by an organisation seeking the key to her intelligence.

But Sufiah sent an e-mail to her family describing her life under her father as a “living hell”.

She was found in an Internet cafe in Bournemouth where she had been working as a hotel waitress.

She refused to go back to her parents and instead was taken into the care of social services.

By then Farooq was in jail for three years for his part in a £1.5mil (RM9.57mil) mortgage swindle.

Sufiah returned to Oxford to complete the final year of her Masters in Maths but failed to finish the course after meeting trainee lawyer Jonathan Marshall.

They were married in 2004 but her parents and siblings failed to turn up. They divorced a year later.

The report, which carried grainy photographs of a semi-nude woman it claimed was Sufiah, said the girl met the reporter who posed as a client wearing a tiny skirt, leather boots and a tight T-shirt. She was carrying three mobile phones.

She also told the reporter that she was studying for a Masters degree in Economics.

Sufiah gave no indication of any sadness at the jailing of her father the previous day. On Wednesday, Farooq, 50, was sentenced to 18 months at Coventry Crown Court for touching two 15-year-old girls when he was home tutoring them.

The report quoted her friend as saying: “Sufiah has suffered so many knocks in her life. I just hope she can drag herself out of this life she has got herself into.

“She deserves a much better life than this. Her gift has been a curse.”


  1. […] education, gifted education, malaysia, singapore — tempinis @ 12:19 pm This is a follow up post on Sufiah Yusof. It must be really difficult being a child genius. Growing up from your awkward […]

    Pingback by How Malaysia has failed its gifted children « The Tempinis diaries — April 1, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  2. getting a masters degree is of course necessary if you want a wage increase and improvement in your career .`:

    Comment by Stomach Bloating — December 2, 2010 @ 9:54 am

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