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This morning I came across a news report of a mother who wanted her son to return to Malaysia after having lost contact with him for the last three years, here. Apparently the boy who was a Petronas sponsored scholar in the United Kingdom (UK) did not complete his medical studies in 2008 and has refused to return to Malaysia when his studies were no longer funded by the National Petroleum Company.

Ariff Alfian Rosli, the name of the 28 year old man, was a top student and did very well in his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or Malaysian Certificate of Education and was duly given a convertible study loan to pursue a medical course. One can imagine how proud his parents were of their clever son. Unfortunately his journey of excellence ended in a rather humiliating way for his parents.

Ariff Alfian and his British partner, Jonathan at a Gay marriage ceremony - Net image

His gay wedding pictures are splashed across the internet for everyone to see. Now how would you feel if you were his parents? He failed to complete his studies, became incommunicado and now showing the world that he is an openly gay person and marrying legally in Britain which is a highly politically correct country as far as same sex relationship is concerned. His parents must have been devastated. Not only have they “lost” their son but now Petronas is asking them to settle the study loan amounting to more than RM800K!

I empathize with the parents. I feel their shame and sadness but as a Malay saying goes ” Berat mata memandang,berat lagi bahu yang memikul“, in English practical translation: however sad you feel for the person facing difficulties, the person himself/herself feels a lot more sadder.

What Ariff did was undoubtedly embarrassing to his family and education sponsor. To the Malays this exposure is a real shame (malu) because Ariff is not only a homosexual (thus forbidden by his religion) but he has virtually abandoned his religion by going through that same sex marriage (murtad), a major sin in Islam.

To be honest with you I don’t really care if he wanted to have a homosexual relationship, legalized or not but what I found distasteful is the fact that he allowed himself and his marriage to be publicized for all and sundry to see knowing ( I believe he knows) that it was going to hurt people, especially his parents, in Malaysia.

I happened to switch on TV3 news this evening 19 Dec 2011, and saw a group of angry Malays protesting and burning copies of Ariff’s wedding pictures. He even had the cheek ( and the joy I suppose) to dress resplendently in a traditional Malay costume!

In fact there are many more wedding photos of Ariff and his partner Jonathan, a rather suave Irish looking man. One of them could be offensive to some of my blog visitors and so it is unsuitable for re-posting (sorry guys, you have to search the websites for yourselves and, by the way,there is also a YouTube posting of the wedding). I selected a “decent” photo of both of them to be re-posted here as befitting their solemn occasion.

Some people including Ariff’s parents still refuse to believe that these photos are genuine.I don’t blame them. I also wish that this were some kind of an April Fool’s joke.

Nevertheless, as anticipated, nasty comments/responses have surfaced all over the internet, some asking for him to be killed for admittedly renouncing his faith. He is said to be a disgrace to his religion,race and country. Such is the anger of his people in this conservative country. Indeed, Ariff has to think twice should he ever want to return to Malaysia!

If Ariff reads my posting I would like him to ask for forgiveness from his parents and to settle his massive study loan to Petronas. You have done enough to break your parents’ hearts so that is the least you could do to atone for your “transgression” and willful indiscretion. I wish you well in your relationship because a gay marriage especially of different racial groups could end up abusive. And remember you are not going to be young forever. I have met gay Malay Malaysians in London and one of them, in his sixties, died alone in winter in his house only to be found days later in a frozen state.

For all parents out there we must not be quick to condemn Ariff’s parents but rather seek to understand that such a culturally undesirable event could happen to anyone of us with children.

May Ariff’s parents find solace in their faith and with the support of their relatives and close friends.

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