Sufiah Yusof first made headlines in 1997 when she gained entry into St. Hilda’s College, Oxford University to read mathematics at the age of 13. Her father Farooq Yusof was a pioneer in the scientifically unproven tutoring process called hothousing.
Despite being a British national, the Malaysian government had generously stepped in to meet her educational expenses, although it was known that her Pakistani-born father had incurred criminal convictions for mortgage-related frauds. She was lionized as a model Islamic prodigy by the Malaysian public due to her mother’s national origins.
In 2001, she ran away from her student flat in Oxford, after taking her final examination paper for the academic year. She was found working as a waitress in a Bournemouth Internet cafe two weeks later, but refused to return home, alleging that her parents made life difficult for her at home. She stayed with a foster family instead.
Two years later, she returned to Oxford to complete her undergraduate master, but failed to finish the year. She later married a trainee lawyer from Oxford. She was working at the time as an administrative assistant for a construction company. Her marriage ended after 13 months.
Sufiah’s father Farooq pleaded guilty in April 2008 over charges of “indecently assaulting two 15-year-old girls while working as a personal tutor.” He had previously promised “more Sufiahs” along a production-line process utilizing hothousing techniques.
In March 2008, a reporter working undercover for the News of the World found her advertising as a prostitute quoting a rate of £130 an hour. One of her friends described her change of fortunes as “desperately heartbreaking”, adding that “her gift [for mathematics] really has been a curse”.
The Malaysian government is now planning an ambitious “Save Sufiah Programme” to rehabilitate Sufiah and “return her to the right path.”
Love Suffiah Campaign
Malay Community Association of United Kingdom began funds to support ‘Love Suffiah’ Campaign. A delegation from Malaysia headed by Ustaz Trimizi Zainal will depart Malaysia on 19th April to treat Sufiah using Islamic Medical practice, as they believe she is under the influence of black magic.