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20 Dec 2011

'Missing' gay Malaysian newlywed in Ireland draws harsh criticism

A Malaysian man, who was reported missing as early as 2008 while he was a medical student in Ireland, is now a subject of controversy in his home country after photos of him in a same-sex civil union surfaced last week.

Ariff Alfian Rosli, a 28-year-old Malaysian man whose family reported him missing after he stopped contacting them three years ago, has been “found” after pictures of his civil partnership ceremony in Ireland emerged on the Internet last week. The news has made the headlines in Malaysia and criticism of his civil union has been harsh.

Photo: Facebook

In a set of photos uploaded on Facebook, Ariff is seen wearing a black baju Melayu with headgear, while his spouse – identified in the media as Jonathan – is in a tuxedo. It is not known when the ceremony was held although the photos were uploaded on December 16 – the same day a Facebook “Public Figure” page bearing the man’s full name was created.

Ariff originally moved to Ireland in 2003 to study medicine at University College Dublin under a Petronas sponsorship programme. Petronas, which stopped sponsoring Ariff in 2009, is reportedly demanding repayment for the RM890,000 (USD280,000) it paid for his education in Ireland.

According to media reports, his father had lodged missing person reports with the police, Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Irish and Malaysian embassies in both countries. Ariff’s parents have also reportedly made eight trips to Ireland in the past two years but failed to locate him.

Ariff has however told The Irish Times he was not missing, and that the Irish authorities and Malaysian embassy are aware that he is residing in Ireland legally.

Free Malaysia Today, an independent news website, reported on Monday that a NGO, Kepong Islamic Youth Organisation (PBIK), has made a police report “in the name of the Malays against a Malay youth who disgraced the name of our country, religion and race.”

“We want to pressure the Higher Education Ministry and government-linked companies which sponsors students for education abroad to ensure that the students’ Malayness and Islamic identity are strong,” said PBIK chairman Norizan Ali was quoted as saying. “Malaysian Muslims must adhere to the Islamic laws and our country’s laws even when they are abroad.”

He added that PBIK intends to provide a copy of the police report to the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Depart¬ment (Jawi) to urge it to take action against the man if he returned to Malaysia. Under Malaysian laws, same-sex sexual relationships are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The same report quoted Malaysian ambassador to Ireland Ramli Naam who confirmed that Ariff’s whereabouts is known but is unable to reveal the information as it was against Ireland’s Data Protection Act.

Reader's Comments

1. 2011-12-20 20:22  
Luckily, under Ireland's immigration laws and as long as his husband's a citizen, he has indefinite leave to remain so long as they remain married.
2. 2011-12-20 20:38  
Bless them with a happy marriage! It's understandable why he lost contact with his family. If his family accept his sexuality and love him for who he is, I guess there is no need for him to hide himself away. I read most of the comments on his facebook, those so-called Malaysians are really a disgrace of themselves. Called him with a lot of nasty nickname and foul language. I really feel sorry for him, but he has the right to pursue his own happiness. It's his own life after all. Originality is just a place where he was born, which he couldn't choose either.

I'm glad he is in Ireland now. 20 years jail sentences for same-sex relationship in Malaysia is too much. Hope the best for you!!
3. 2011-12-20 20:43  
he is right to live out his sexuality in a country where homosexuality is accepted. but going missing for so many years, brought distress to his family, and throwing aside his education (890,000RM).. he is wrong here. he should be punished for all these, not for his homosexuality, like claimed in the newspaper, The Star.
4. 2011-12-20 20:45  
Welcome aboard! LOL
5. 2011-12-20 21:29  
Well it seems legitimate that he should be expected to pay back the money he accepted to pay for his education or he should be jailed for theft and fraud.
6. 2011-12-20 21:31  
good for him! malaysia is an outrageously homophobic country. i wish him and his partner a happy future in ireland.
7. 2011-12-20 21:31  
Congratulations to him! Dont be bothered by these scums who tried to play god and think they are almighty to control and dictate other people's lives. Dont be surprised that many of these scums have their vices too..they are not that holy like what they think about themselves!

Anyway he did the right thing.. if he gets ostracised for marrying a man in his native country then get it done outside. Life is short and he has every right to pursue his happiness. Don't worry these scums in malaysia cant do anything as its outside their jurisdiction. Just brush them aside like crazy dogs ...

In malaysia, we have a chief minister who raped an underaged girl, another minister who molested his maid and those who walked the corridors of power are on the take to the tune of billions of dollars... and these scums cant make a sound ! Another guy marrying another guy, they shook the whole country?
Comment #8 was deleted by its author on 2012-01-12 17:19
9. 2011-12-20 21:36  
good thing Ireland has this Date Protection Act;
the wedding picture is so sweet, i always dream of this for myself, i wish their relationship last forever!

10. 2011-12-20 21:56  
Tough one, the Father ends up having to pay up 890,000 RMB as the guarantor of the study loan. But seeing how Ariff broke off all communications with his family, one wonders if that had anything to do with his sexuality in which case the Father should look up it as fine for his lack of morality.

Of course, the reaction of the massively corrupt Malaysian government shows just how fractured it has become, both racially and religiously - the Thought Police are in high gear, even the dispatch of an "advisor" to Dublin - I hope the Garda (Irish Police) are watching the movements of that person like a hawk.

The Malaysian government response also guarantees that Ariff will never be returned to Malaysia - the death threats, prison sentence, false claims of fraud et.c.

Anyhow, congratulations, my best wishes to you both.
11. 2011-12-20 22:01  
Will someone (maybe even Fridae) pass him the contact of UN Human Rights? Maybe even Hillary Clinton's number? ...
Comment #12 was deleted by its author on 2011-12-20 22:01
13. 2011-12-20 22:06  
... and it is so funny why Malaysian authorities and all those self-appointed-holier-than-thou scums not even mention the RM890,000 swindled money but focus on things that are so "uneducated" and "misinformed"
14. 2011-12-20 22:26  
Civil Unions are not 'marriages' even silly old mummy Elton props that misnomer up
15. 2011-12-20 22:36  
I knew this will happened when someone posted this wedding pic in Facebook.... but still congratulate them both... it's advisable to stay in Ireland and breed. LOL
16. 2011-12-20 22:55  
Hopefully he will be able to contact several human rights organizations in attempts of seeking asylum in Ireland. Its clear if he returns to Malaysia he will be prosecuted for various "crimes" deemed by the state and probably treated unfairly in the process. Congrats on the marriage, and may God continue to bless both of them.
17. 2011-12-20 23:05  
what ever!just celebrate the happy moments and happy marriage!
congrats!wish both of you all the best!
18. 2011-12-20 23:21  
This Couples' union should be blessed. The government is just pissed that they have happiness in an more advanced country. Sometimes I wonder if countries that put down others for being themselves should be punished by the United Nations. Maybe it is time for the PEOPLE to rise and kick out that same government. As a happily married man for 6.5 years, I thank god that I live in an advanced country like Canada where marriage by same sex couples is both legal and encouraged.
19. 2011-12-20 23:22  
Happy marriage!
20. 2011-12-20 23:38  
Nothing against gay marriage, civil partnership or whatever related to it but what ariff did was wrong. he was sent to Ireland to S-T-U-D-Y, he should have focus on it, finish the study, get stable job, pay his loan and then fall in love and married with whoever he want. Opposite situation... he went missing for 3 years, cause all the trouble to his family and wasted RM890,000 which the money can go to deserving students...

other than that: congrats to both of them. Hope all decisions make are going to be worth it. cheers :)
21. 2011-12-20 23:55  
Congrats...gay lives is like a fairy tales u doesnt know whats the end of the story.....
22. 2011-12-20 23:59  
first, congratulations for the marriage.. i think i understand why he did that, suddenly disappeared from his family... for people who live in country where most of the peoples are moslems, they can't accept the gay things, so i think base of what his religion which not accepted gay things, and his family is moslems, so i think that was the only way that crossed his mind when he decided to disappeared from his family. i think why the government is pissed off , because he went to ireland that time using petronas sponsorship for his studies. and btw.. that is ridiculous for punish someone for being gay for 20 years, what kind of rule is that? no one choose to bcome a gay. how do you feel if your son or someone u care so much is gay? are they also punish them for 20 years???
23. 2011-12-21 00:12  
He has the right and chose to exercise it. He went the whole way. Money is just a hitting below the belt issue. Human rights are way above that puny lil argument.
24. 2011-12-21 00:19  
the only way for us, the indonesian or malaysian or any other muslim country, to be able living freely as gay or lesbian or transferred, is to get out from our country.

25. 2011-12-21 00:20  
This exposes how unfair and tragic born as Malay in Malaysia. They are all restricted by their religion with no choice of their own. As a human being, everyone should have the right to choose for his own good beyond religion or politics or nationality. This person has every right to choose how he wants to live and who he wants to marry to. It is certainly no business with those Malaysian religious fundamentalists. However, it is sad that he has to choose between exile and being himself. I wish him most happiness for the rest of his life. And I admire him of not submitting himself to barbaric medieval laws of the Malaysian government.
26. 2011-12-21 00:21  
I assume archibubby is gay...just goes to show being gay doesn't mean one can reason well or fairly.
Comment #27 was deleted by its author on 2011-12-21 00:35
28. 2011-12-21 00:51  
This article made it sound like he had completely removed contact from his family and purposely made himself missing. I read the other article, and it says that his family is aware of everything but fell out with his dad. And also, both m'sian and ireland authorities were aware of his whereabouts etc. So he can do whatever he wants I guess. lol.

The only issue I have is probably about his scholarship. I don't know what his scholarship conditions entail etc, but he shouldn't break the agreement without thinking about the consequences. His dad is a retired naval officer and is probably the guarantor for his scholarship and if he did break the agreement, it probably means his dad has to pay everything back and that's a lot of money especially since his father is retired. I would know because I too am a scholarship student and my dad is also retired :3 hehe. Really hope he would pay back the scholarship or at least honour the agreement or something.
29. 2011-12-21 01:19  
Calling his marriage and uncertainty about the status of a loan "fraud" or "theft" is likely wrong as a matter of law. Both imply that he had planned everything to avoid paying back the scholarship. Very unlikely. In addition, he may plan to repay the scholarship after he starts medical practice. The fact that he had a disagreement with an intolerant father and cut off contact is understandable enough and could only lead to a link with criminal allegations in a society that criminalizes homosexuality. Resisting oppression of ones sexual orientation speaks more of courage than criminality. To claim that a person cannot fall in love or desire happiness until repayment of a loan which, as a result of unjust laws and social unfairness is conditioned on maintaining the unhappiness, is unreasonable, though I am sure many Malaysians have remained in the closet for these reasons.
30. 2011-12-21 01:26  
post no.26: firstly, i am gay and proud, secondly: it is just my opinion, he has the right to married to his love one but still... finish the study first and after that he can do whatever he want. I am sure, being in his mid 20s, he should able to think maturely and know about the consequences of his own decision. things does can work well :)
31. 2011-12-21 01:35  
..and they lived happily ever after :)..
32. 2011-12-21 02:05  
post no 30: We were all born with the ability to multi task. Why must we study then fall in love? We can simply do both at the same time. University is there to teach us more than just academia. We don't have enough time in life to do each major event in succession.

Good luck to them both.
33. 2011-12-21 02:15  
don't get me wrong, i admit i fall love and studying during my student time, but the question is... why did he went missing, not paying his loan, put his family in trouble...

where is the sense responsibility?

34. 2011-12-21 02:21  
Let say... he did not went missing, pay his loan, not running away from his family, he do whatever that makes him happy... get married...

the only headlines in the news will be: malaysian muslim malay guy did same sex civil partnership in Ireland.... not 'missing'

running away from problems will never solve anything, it makes things worst...
35. 2011-12-21 02:27  
The Irish Times
- Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Malaysian Muslims seek action over man 'missing' in Ireland

A MALAYSIAN student who reportedly had a civil partnership with an Irishman has been caught up in a political storm of controversy in his home country.

Ariff Alfian Rosli (28) has been resident in Ireland since moving here eight years ago to study medicine at a university in Dublin.

After an apparent disagreement with his son in 2009, Mr Rosli’s father reported him missing to Malaysian authorities.

In recent days, pictures emerged on the internet which appeared to be of Mr Rosli in traditional Malaysian dress with his civil partner in Ireland at an event at Dublin City Hall.

The pictures were published on the front pages of some local newspapers and have been the source of criticism from numerous political groups in Malaysia, where same-sex sexual relationships are illegal and punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The Malaysian police have been urged by Muslim groups to investigate the issue on the basis that Mr Rosli has failed to adhere to the country’s Islamic laws.

The controversy has prompted the Malaysian prime minister’s office to issue a statement pledging to investigate the matter.

An official from Malaysia’s ruling political party is reportedly due to arrive in Dublin later this week to convince Mr Rosli to return home.

Mr Rosli yesterday told The Irish Times he was not missing and wished to correct inaccurate comments about him in the Malaysian media.

“I am not missing. The Irish authorities know I am legally resident here. The Malaysian embassy has also been aware for several years that I am residing here legally,” he said.

“I feel I have have been inadvertently thrust into the public eye. I just want to get by without upsetting anyone or causing any trouble. My overriding concern is for my family.”

He declined to comment on whether he had a civil partnership or was involved in a same-sex relationship. Homosexuality is still a taboo issue in Malaysia.

Advocates for gay rights say many Malaysians remain afraid to come out publicly for fear of religious condemnation or prosecution.

Mr Rosli also said reports that he had renounced his Muslim faith were inaccurate.

“I have not converted to any religion, contrary to what has been reported. I was born a Muslim, I am still a Muslim and will remain a Muslim ’til the day I die. Nothing will shake me from my faith.”

He also said he was in regular contact with his family and was baffled at how his “disappearance” had become a major source of controversy in his home country. However, he has not spoken with his father – a retired naval officer – for several years.

“I had a disagreement with my father in 2009, after which he reported me missing . . . I’m not in communication with him, but I am in regular contact with my other family members,” he added.

36. 2011-12-21 02:46  
Come on.. it just misunderstanding don't make it a hugh news..
37. 2011-12-21 02:59  
from several sources mentioned he never finish his studies, can the ireland newspaper confirmed that?

38. 2011-12-21 03:36  
I read these comments and at the Malay papers website and find it quite disturbing that most of them are worried about the money.

Petronas? Really? This money is nothing to this company. God they even have an F1 Team. Talk about throwing money into an inferno.
Stop being lead around by your nose rings folks.

My husband bailed out on Singapore many years ago. He chose to leave everything behind and I mean everything. This choice was not an easy one.
I left the United States the country I proudly served in the Marine Corps and would have laid my life down for my country the one that would not allow me to be who I am or with whom I choose.

Until any of you have the balls to fight or make tough choices you really haven't a clue.
You think it is easy to not talk to your father any longer? To watch my husband beg and cry on the phone while I was called "satan" by his father was a gut wrenching experience bar none.

Malaysia is no different than any other place. We are hated world wide. Take the blinders off and have a real look around. Accept it or fight is your choice.
We fought and we got very lucky. We have been here in Canada now for almost eight years and it was not a picnic. Yeah gay marriage is law here but we still endured a five and a half year immigration battle.

This young man has balls, he chose what some call the easy path... yeah fraud that was all he had on his mind. Come on. Think about never being able to go home again, ever. Your family is sick and dying and they want to see you but you can't go. The houses are being sold as they die your past is being erased into oblivion. The only thing you can trust is your other half. That is all you have. That is what we endured and that is what he is now having to deal with along with a whole slew of religious doctrine.

My heart goes out to both of them. BRAVO! They know what true love is.


39. 2011-12-21 04:46  
All the best wishes for the couple and hope to see and hear that more Malaysians who are living overseas to come out and get married.
40. 2011-12-21 06:04  
Not speaking with one's father in order to live a gay life is not unusual.

If gay people who are familiar with the oppression of gay people in Malaysia (and by families everywhere) cannot understand that a culturally appropriate newpaper article which panders to Islamic tradition is VERY unlikely to have the facts right, (or to have all the facts), and is likely to have an homophobic bias. The newspaper's attempt to frame love and marriage as fraud and theft should not be accepted at face value.

The stupidity of gay people who buy this story and fail to see that this is an attempt to link being gay with dishonorable behavior has to rest in their own denial of the nastiness of the cultural context in which it is set. This story is not about the money and there is NO link between being gay, falling in love, and theft. The context of the story is the culture of Malaysia informed by Islamic values and Shariah law.

The story is really about how the oppression of gay freedom can have unexpected consequences. Fortunately the Malaysian newlywed will be better able to assist in achieving a fair financial outcome if he is based in Ireland (and not Malaysia where his life would likely be ruined - not for his default on a loan - as this has no doubt happened many times before) - BUT FOR HIS OPENLY GAY MARRIAGE. If you think he gained the scholarship and attended medical school to steal a scholarship you need your head read.

So this case will now be used as a justification to force more young Malaysians deep into the closet if they hope to ever receive a scholarship to study abroad. What a disgrace! Instead of understanding how backward and stultifying the oppressive culture is, and encouraging more loving and closer families, this will divide them more and likely result in more teen suicides.

If you don't understand the connection, get yourself checked.
41. 2011-12-21 06:18  
archibubby keeps trying to justify his homophobia with new arguments to place blame for something on the newlywed Malaysian.
Look at yourself, young man, we are all raised in homophobic societies and we all absorb homophobia. As we mature, if we can do so with a willingness to learn, we see more and more of our internalized homophobia and can try to overcome the prejudices and biases...or at least keep them in check.
You can claim "gay and proud" all you like but you are not giving a gay person the benefit of the doubt (which every legal system would). Nor are you applying standards equally in light of context (gay oppression).
The behavior of the newlywed may have been emotionally spurred by his father's outrageous homophobia - do you blame his father and say he deserves to be stuck with the debt? Nope, but of course we don't have facts beyond newspaper articles.
You ask about completion of studies. This is a red herring. After what the young man went through, maybe we should just be glad he didn't commit suicide and that he may have found a "happily ever after" in Ireland. These things are complex, but for a gay man to simply accept the arguments of a newspaper pandering to an oppressive culture is really sad.
Who knows...maybe he really wants to be a physician and will continue his studies later. Wouldn't be the first student to take leave of absence.
Comment edited on 2011-12-21 06:20:29
42. 2011-12-21 07:08  
I can tell you that This very story was on the front page/cover of The Irish Times today, and I heard about it from a gay Malaysian in Dublin a couple of days ago. It's become quite a talking point, whether gay or straight.

Gay Malaysians in Ireland seem to be both upset and angry about this story - for obvious reasons - while we Irish are bemused at this story! An elderly, senior, Straight colleague of mine - and nobody thinks I'm gay, not that I hide it - remarked on it at lunchtime, saying: "Do those lads [the Malaysian government] not have better things to do with their time?" Quite.

It is far, far too intrusive - the thought that a government would start spying on its citizens abroad, and trying to detect if they're gay or not - in which case, they 'should' be punished, or called home for 'questioning'.

What utter nonsense!

Although the Irish are not fully welcoming of gay men and women, at the same time, they're mostly not very bothered about gay people, and in any poll, a clear majority support and welcome gay rights, with the Irish government, police and other bodies working to create an inclusive society, and it's one where discrimination against gay people is illegal.

As such, I can say that most ordinary, plain, decent Irish people would frown at the thought of the Malaysian government interfering with its citizens rights abroad - an unheard of matter, here - and that this story can be expected to run again in further depth, should the Malaysian government press ahead with its (reported) foolish plan to send officials to Ireland to look for this guy.

They may as well send Secret Policement to try and arrest every immoral Irishman while they're at it - and the packed, busy gay bar (one of a few in Dublin) that I just left an hour ago, full of openly gay men and women, as well as Straights, would keep them busy for quite a while.

Finally, I should point out that the photo above was taken at City Hall, the administrative heart of Dublin City Council, and one of the key heritage spots in Dublin and, indeed, Ireland. During the 1916 uprising against the British, the then masters of Ireland, people fought and died in the street outside this building, and it's one of the key institutions that represents human and civil rights in modern Ireland.

The fact that a gay 'marriage' - or civil ceremony ' is being held in the photo above (and I know That room very well, myself) - underlines the support that the Irish government, and, in general, the Irish people, have for gay rights, today.

As such, any Malaysian delegation looking to find 'deviant' and 'immoral' citizens abroad should not expect to get one of the famous Irish welcomes from us, as a people, or as a political body...
Comment #43 was deleted by its author on 2011-12-22 13:34
44. 2011-12-21 08:18  
And why Wouldn't he leave Wherever and Whatever to live here with a Man?

People leave. They emigrate. They make new lives in new countries and cultures. Should I point at a couple of my best friends - one Chinese guy from the mainland, here about 12 years, and one from Hong Kong, here about 8 years - and ask them what the hell they're doing here in Ireland for so long - and especially as they're both Still single, and don't 'even' have a partner to keep them here?!

What a silly thing to say! People leave the comfort of home because they want something more, new, better, differet. Tens of THOUSANDS of young and not-so-young Irish people have emigrated out of Ireland in the past couple of years, as the country is in such bad economic trouble right now. You can be damn sure that if people leave for 'just' economic reasons, they'll definitely also leave if they feel restricted or persecuted just for being themselves.

Do you know how many Malaysians - and Singaporeans, and Chinese, and others - I've met in London who left Home because they're gay, and because they felt unable to live their lives at Home? And especially true for Malaysians!

Gay or Straight, people live on the other side of the planet from Home, if the new country, people, culture and way gives them the life that they want, and the freedom or opportunities that they want. And THAT would be why a Malaysian man might, just might, choose to live in Ireland with another man - because as messed up as our country is, and as challenging as it is for Anyone and Everyone to live here, now, at least he would have more freedom to live the life that He wanted, here. He can still be a Muslim, still eat Malaysian food, still meet other Malaysians, etc etc. We even have education here! (Which Might go to explain the large numbers of Malaysian male and female students here at medical college in the city centre.)

I could go on, but the point is made. My country is awful at many things - BUT, in providing some equality to gay men and women, it's better than Malaysia. And That, I presume, is why He, and the Other gay Malaysians I've met here, are Here, even if it's just Ireland...
45. 2011-12-21 08:52  
People... people!! Let's get a grip on reality here! Journalists never let facts get in the way of a good story - and I am sure Malaysian fish and chips wrappers are no different from the scum-raking filth-mongering scandal sheets in the rest of the world. Whatever has transpired with this poor wretched individual with his family, his husband or his government is something that is HIS business. He should be applauded for standing up for his beliefs, not castigated for abandoning his family or his country or whatever other sad, sad excuse some people seem to want to condemn him for. And believe me, Ireland ain't no panacea for gay people's woes... there is just as much homophobia in its society as any other western country. While it is not sanctioned by the government as say in a country like Malaysia, it is still a fact of life we all have to live with, no matter where we reside (by choice or otherwise).
46. 2011-12-21 09:32  
Good lord! I'm from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Trust me people, it ain't easy no more. Everyone is furious about this and 20 years jail sentence is inevitable. I'm not a Muslim but my Heart goes to my fellow Muslim gay brothers. Yesterday a bunch of Muslim school boys cursed and spit at my walk way while I was walking home after buying dinner. They said something like 'We are gonna punish you people before God does'. I have to walk pass the low-end residential area to get to my condo. I don't drive. Now I have my life probably at stake. I just bought pepper spray.
47. 2011-12-21 10:10  
Ariff has a right to do what he wants with his personal life but the bottom line is that he should not leave his parents to pay his RM890,000 loan. Gosh, they are not wealthy people! This money issue is not hitting below the belt!
48. 2011-12-21 11:03  
Abuse the student loan/scholarship and drop the study suddenly is not new thing especially in Malaysia. Look around, how many people never pay their student loan ? I guess before he made that BIG decision, he has evaluated everything, and probably that the best option in his situation. Everybody has right to pursue for happiness. 'Missing' from his family for over 3 years is not our problem. That is his internal problem. He made the decision, and he bear all the consequences. Again, missing from family (due to marriage issue or other issue) is not new thing in MALAYSIA. 'Straight' people (probably the people who bashing him as well) been doing all of these since long ago.
49. 2011-12-21 12:31  
I agree with Vercoda. People come and go. They move to another country to seek a better life, a new experience, and something more. We can never say that there's a 100% guarantee that gay relationship always work out well. When you are in love with a person, you will have a hundred reasons why you want to move in with him. But when the feeling is fade away, you will always be able to find a thousand reasons why you both are not for each other. It's sad to say but it's true.

From the articles, we all know that it's highly possible that he is reportedly missing by his own father. Nobody could ever imagine how hard it could be for him not to be able to get in touch with his family. His father might be the one who disown him at first because they had a disagreement. We all never know the real story behind, but one thing I'm sure of, it's not easy for him. He has the courage to pursue what he wants in life, and he found it. If you are gay and you live in Asian country or you have an Asian partner, I'm sure you will understand what he is going through.

Malaysia gov is exaggerating the topic. Same-sex relationship is illegal, but isn't discrimination and prejudice also against human's rights? Being gay isn't a choice. Coming out as a gay is a tough road for every guy who wants the equal social treatment. The extreme homophobic countries makes life harder for them. Don't blame Asian who moves to western countries to get married. They are more open-minded and know how to accept a human better as a human being. Sexual orientation is a personal thing, if they get punishment for that, it is really against morale. Don't treat us like an animal.

I hope he doesn't have to go back to Malaysia and live happily ever after in Ireland :)
50. 2011-12-21 12:53  
Wish you an ever after wedding !
51. 2011-12-21 13:09  
Morally he should abide by the terms of his agreement for the loan provided that the lender has kept his side of the bargain. However he is in a cleft stick if the authorities legally can & do decide to demand repayment of the loan from his family - from what we read he is still on good terms with the rest of the family and he would not want them to suffer as a result of his actions.

Equally as a result of this education and now permanent residence in Ireland he will be in a position to repay it over time - it is not clear if he was studying medicine or nursing but either will provide a reasonable income.

Very naive of him to allow such a provocative photo to appear on the net with his name - look at the reaction of the bigots in PBIK. The result of their bigotry is likely to be the separation of a family. Whatever other results of this unwanted publicity he may well have to stay away from his home. He must have known that the photo would have provided a heaven sent opportunity for such inhuman reaction.

Hopefully this will provide extra glue to keep the relationship going through the inevitable difficulties -good luck to them

52. 2011-12-21 13:15  
I am not going to talk about malaysia, ireland, homophobic, equality, bash here and there, my point is:

is it a right thing to: go study, not doing well with studies, dropped his studies, forgot about the scholarship and left it to your parents to settle it? Ariff has the right to get married, that makes him happy, i am very happy for him when i first saw the pictures but why he put aside his problems to other people. if he want want to go back to study after this, thats good for him... but i guess... he have to make sure it is a good investment.

I live in malaysia; i am enough of people calling gays are disgusting, but calling gays ungrateful, just into themselves, selfish, etc are just way too much because we most of us are not like that. Called me homophobic, do i care? i don't know you and you don't know me.


ps: pay your own debt
53. 2011-12-21 13:33  
Malaysia, truly fucking awful.
54. 2011-12-21 13:45  
Great to hear that... Hope the 2 of them live happily.
55. 2011-12-21 14:34  
archibubby, don't get too defensive or annoyed, as you are missing the point. What everyone here is trying to say, is DON't believe any word they print in the local media.

You believe that Arif is an irresponsible person, never think about his family and the consequences of his marriage to a man in Ireland? We, the third party do not know the real truth. The media is just out to paint him as an irresponsible, selfish person. Don't believe that. For all you know, he has plans to pay back the money he borrowed once he start working.

The bottom line is, he is brave enough to seek out his happiness in the face of all the obstacles. How many of us can do the same?
For that, he deserves encouragement and salutes.

56. 2011-12-21 14:52  
57. 2011-12-21 16:17  
"Journalists never let facts get in the way of a good story"

As it happens, I'm a journalist AND an editor - not only do I check Very carefully that what the Newsdesk guys write is factually correct, but they, and the News Editor, and the Group Editor, care very much about being both correct And fair.

Not every journalist or paper is like this - and the few that aren't tend to be the ones that are constantly sued, fined and publicly apologizing. But most - Most - journalists care very much about what The Facts are, just as most Subs (the unsung heroes of publishing, who both see, check and fix what journalists write) and Editors do.

So, don't blame The Media for everything! ;-)
58. 2011-12-21 16:24  
Oh, and as for:

"When you think about gay relationship, no matter how passionate it is from the very beginning, no one knows the ending."

That says a Lot about that author's latent homophobia, in the context of the rest of his remarks. A Lot. There's no point getting into a "My country's better than Your country" argument, as Both sides would win And lose, easily.

However, it's hard not to notice, yet again, a subtle anti-gay air to some of the remarks, above - always a curious thing to notice coming from 'gay' members of a Gay website...
59. 2011-12-21 16:32  
Are you for real Kuman? You know nothing of the terms of the educational sponsorship and yet you are stating that he now to pay for his education or he should be jailed for theft and fraud. On what basis have you come to this judgement? How is that legitimate?

Can't you tell from the tenor of those howling him down that this is all about religion and how they want everyone to live by their rules and to hell with the individuals rights and how dare he be gay and they want to lash out and punish him by asking for the money back.

There is NOTHING in the article that suggests he defrauded anyone.
60. 2011-12-21 16:35  
I wish both of them live happily ever after and forever. Merry X'mas and Happy New Year ;)
61. 2011-12-21 16:40  
"...The Malaysian police have been urged by Muslim groups to investigate the issue on the basis that Mr Rosli has failed to adhere to the country’s Islamic laws...."

Hello Muslim groups - he is NOT in your perverted mind-fucked country so why should he adhere to your obnoxious Islamic laws that would jail him for being human. I wish all of you crazy people all the most miserable lives possible to match your miserable minds.
62. 2011-12-21 18:13  
I am Irish, living in Tokyo, and I am proud that Ireland and its laws have given Ariff freedom to live his life as he wishes, away from the oppressive government in Malaysia. I don't think anyone here has a right to comment on the scholarship Ariff got because no one knows the details - we shouldn't make assumptions when we don't know the facts. I am flabbergasted that the Malaysian government is sending a representative to Ireland to persuade Ariff to return to Malaysia. This is scary, and I am worried for Ariff's safety - how far will the Malaysian gov. go to get its way?? This is about human rights, and Ariff has obviously felt respected as a human being living in Ireland - it must have been an immense freedom for him to know he was living in a country that would not punish him for who he is, but would recognize him in a same-sex partnership. As for his father, he made his choice, clearly based on his beliefs, and they will never change - the scary thing now is that the honor of his family is probably his greatest concern rather than the welfare or happiness of his son.
We all need to love and be loved - isn't this why Ariff made the choices he made? I wish Ariff and his Irish partner much happiness.
63. 2011-12-21 18:13  
He breached a contract- big deal. It was probably related to that bumiputra thingy they have in Malaysia anyway (i.e. educational racial discrimination). A system like that deserves a bit of abuse. The guy has made a decision that will hurt him, it's not as if he robbed a bank. It's a interesting story and he has some guts.
64. 2011-12-21 20:37  
hahahaha, it must be suck to be malay or islamic/muslim. i don't get this nonsense islamic laws at all. islamic laws are so out of trend with modern time and human rights. it must be suck for those people to be islamic.
65. 2011-12-21 20:56  
Where did he meet his significant other? How did they fall in love with each other so fast? Wow! Now, they'll have to deal with a shit load of legal problems.
66. 2011-12-21 20:57  
So happy for them. They both deserved to be happy. Nuff said. :)
67. 2011-12-21 23:37  
RM890,000 is aprox. USD280,000. who wants to pay for it? any1 here can help to settle the payment?
68. 2011-12-22 00:12  
dallas63, be strong, dont let those kids bothers you, or else, get the hell out of malaysia! we deserve better treatment.

69. 2011-12-22 02:29  
After reading this guy's facebook comments last nite..... Mostly were very harsh, a lot of them used "god" and curse the worst.....Am just wondering this people who curse will ever get good karma???? - Simon(Not Leeb)
70. 2011-12-22 03:08  
hope they can happily live together, dont go back to Malaysia.
71. 2011-12-22 03:08  
"Put-it" acts like this is about the money...what nonsense! This doesn't happen to straight people who default on a scholarship. This is an attempt to justify homophobic laws and attitudes by linking sexual orientation with a wrongful financial act (which has not yet been established). The one has nothing to do with the other and every person here should know that. Gay people can be honorable or dishonest (like all people) - but unlike others, our lifestyle happiness is much tougher to achieve in oppressive countries.
Some writers ask ridiculous questions like "will he be happy" or "will the relationship last"? So homophobic! Do you ask the same of hetero relationships? Do you say straight people should not marry in case the marriage might end in divorce?
Of course not.
Following one's heart into a relationship that may not last is everyone's chance to take - though some countries/cultures put more obstacles in the way of happiness than others.
As a group gay people need to show some understanding for the hardships this Malaysian man has endured and wish him and his husband all the best.
Don't sell your heart to the oppressors. Don't buy the nonsense that the condemnation is about money. Chances are that this young man is demonstrating by his courage that he is a man of integrity - he is certainly more honest to his own needs than a few men I have met from Malaysia who have married women and need to travel to neighboring countries for sexual relief (and I try not to judge them negatively for this, as I am not in their shoes - though severe judgment for causing this behavior must fall on the laws and culture).
I suspect our medical student has plans to repay the obligation anyway.
72. 2011-12-22 03:40  
These PBIK people are still living in the dark age! Pathetic!!! We should all stand up and fight for our right of love!!
73. 2011-12-22 03:40  
why everyone think his action in abusing the scholarship is ok? of course he can choose where he want to reside and who he want to marry to, but I found it very disgusting that he is abusing the scholarship scheme in escaping from Malaysia. I'm malaysian and i do know there are thousand of poor students who can't afford to go to university due to financial constraint, but he took the advantage of the monies at the expense of others bright students. Imagine how many students Petronas can sponsor with the RM 890,000 but all these monies was wasted on one person for his own benefits sake. I left Malaysia 8 years ago to pursue my own life, but I did it on my own terms and I'm proud of that. i think his action is very selfish because he just care about himself and dont give a damn to other students who never have a chance in pursuing their studies due to financial constraint.
74. 2011-12-22 04:46  
Simple, because its not their money, thats why they think its ok to abuse the scholarship.


"He, however, declined to comment on whether he had a civil partnership or was involved in a same-sex relationship."

So this the young man that are supposedly honest, brave, proud, and with intergrity - i guess he is still confused or unsure with what he is doing.

75. 2011-12-22 04:54  
no wonder why he was missing
76. 2011-12-22 06:23  
When I read the ignorant (because you don't know the facts apart from the newspaper) sarcastic and condemnatory writings of some Malaysians on this board, I am reminded of the Stockholm syndrome. Your arguments are so biased and supportive of the oppression that it reflects on how tough it must be for a gay man in that society to exercise balanced judgment and treat gay people as equal to straight.
You use a newspaper report (which is clearly homophobic) to asert a man who has just got married is confused. Can't you see how infected you are with homophobia? I guess not. You're entitled to be in denial and join the chorus of Moslems who wish to condemn a gay man for following his dreams.
Don't you know being gay is not a positive quality in Malaysia?
Can't you see the scholarship is a ruse to condemn gay people?
Do you read the papers in Malaysia?
Don't you know this kind of scandal does not arise when a straight man drops out of studies and has to repay a scholarship? That leads to civil liability not moral outrage.
His whereabouts are known. If he is liable to repay the loan (which he should not if the reason they are pulling it is because he is gay), then he could reach agreement on terms and repay over 20-30 years or whatever is the usual period. I'm sure he is not the first student to drop out (if he has) and I am sure this is dealt with routinely. The issue is his gayness and nastiness of the culture as he strives for happiness.
77. 2011-12-22 07:26  
The issue I'm uncomfortable with is the not paying of his scholarship (and leaving the family with that sum of a debt) and being a uni dropout if it turns out to be true. Well let's just say, the gay community over here is already under fire quite a lot already. This is just not gonna be any good for anyone else that still lives in Malaysia. And I find it extremely irresponsible for that guy to just drop out of school and leave the family to pay off his debt and most of all, it shows a sense that he doesn't even care for himself.

While the issue of not paying off scholarships are common, the fact that he is gay does make the papers put him under a microscope. At the end of the day, it so does not make it any better for us over here.
78. 2011-12-22 08:41  
more to the point, my goodness what a draconian, controlling and unforgiving religion that it should seek out and persecute what may well be a "good" person.... best to stay agnostic, however maybe that does not make one safe either... for all interested a good synopsis of the conflict of religions and what has led to this sort of situation can be read in the book THE TENTH PARALLEL
Dispatches From the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam
By Eliza Griswold
truly a scary situation, however i think this publication may not be available in malaysia... why oh why must religion be a power struggle ????
79. 2011-12-22 09:22  
Yes, DarkEx, we hear your points.
Living in a society that is unfair to gay people places the acts of gay people under greater scrutiny but, in this case, there may not be a financial loss - you are buying the biased reporting of journalists in a biased society. Student loans/failed scholarships are usually paid off over many years, and in the case of "ordinary people", repayment is sometimes even waived for good cause. If Malaysia were a welcome place for the student to have returned and lived a happy and free life, he would likely have made a different life choice about his studies and where to live. But neither his society nor his father seem to make that possible - and for that he gets the blame and many gay Malaysians here have no sympathy or understanding. WOW!
Nevertheless, I hope that the Malaysians who are fearing negative consequences for their community (and I am sure you are correct to do so as any possible reason to be nasty to gays will be used by homophobes - whether fair, justified, or not), can see how differently people from more free societies are able to view this case.
We call it Stockholm Syndrome when hostages start to see the world through the eyes of their captors. In Malaysia your gayness is held hostage and coming out is commonly a limited and difficult process for fear of negative consequences.
Gay people in such situations are often thankful they are not treated worse (i.e. we're lucky we're able to party and have fun and are not killed off like the Taliban or other Islamic nations might - so let's just behave and hope they leave us alone.)
Well, those of us who live in freeer societies, where we consider ourselves equal to other people do not kow-tow as easily any more. (We used to - our societies have been there.)
I apologise if anything I have said appears to judge you negatively for how you handle your plight...my point in writing is hoping that you will find inspiration in the words of your freeer gay brethren, to at least be fair and supportive to a countryman who is being scandalized because he chose to act on his gay feelings.
Joining the Islamic chorus condemns yourselves...you will not be considered good because you criticise other gay people. In the eyes of homophobes you will be tarred yourselves.
Dividing gay people suits homophobes. You know nothing in the media proves this guy is a bad person...if you cannot give him the benefit of the doubt, who can? If he is scared to speak out, you know it's the intolerant culture and religion that makes it difficult.
Possible Archbishop Tutu was right when he said: "People have never been given their freedom, they have to take it themselves." Stand proud and don't let Malaysia confound "gay" with "crook". It's not right.
80. 2011-12-22 09:22  
Congratulations on this lovely bliss. At least there is one Malay-Malaysian went out of the way to find his happiness regardless of what their muslim teachings taught them.

Malaysia is a nice country. Love visiting KL, however, many ethnicities are second class citizens exempli gratia: Ethnic Chinese et..al.

It is sad that a beautiful country has to resort to this kind of actions. SIGHS.
81. 2011-12-22 10:20  
Someone has mentioned this, but perhaps the following will help us put things in proper perspective:

Ariff is straight, a non-Muslim, breaks his scholarship (not saying he has done so as the current news is not conclusive), marries an Irish lady, in the process falls out with his mother, and decides to stay in Ireland for a better life.

How would this story have made it to the press? Is your guess thes same as mine? - Never. It will be one too many of similar cases that the editor will chug into his bin for more important news.

Assuming it did get a press release by all miracles, how would society (straight and gay) have reacted? Perhaps same as mine?

- Marries an Irish lady: that's his business, but congratulations if he finds true love
- Breaks his scholarship: that's his business; many people have done that; let the usual recovery process kick in to address this
- Falls out with his mother - again that's his business; he's just one of the million people who have relationship issues with family members
- Implicates his family in the scholarship: not a wise thing to do; but that's their business; I'm sure they will sort it out; did Ariff say he will not pay?; no, so I'm sure the will sort it out

Would your reaction be somewhat similar to mine? Do you think society might generally dismiss it in the same way?

If yes, contrast it with the current outpour, and there you go ... Homosexuality and anti-gay religion are a potent mix to blow things out of proportion. Unfortunately, it does not happen to just one side of the fence. It happens to our side of the fence too!
82. 2011-12-22 10:39  
As least be responsible and pay your debt before getting into relationship!
83. 2011-12-22 10:58  
therd9: Listen, I said if that turns out to be true. I would not be happy with it. Based on that, if he did not finish his studies (I would rant about how irresponsible someone is for not finishing school before going into some marriage be it man or woman but that's not this case), and still owes for the scholarship, my problem is with how he would remain out of contact from his family and also, the company that sponsors the scholarship.

Media bias happens everywhere, my address in this situation is with the idea of how irresponsible someone can be with a scholarship (890k worth of it) and leaving someone else to clear the debt.

I'm all for happy unions of any kind (that does not involve paedophilia or anything of that consistency). The fact that he is gay throws another curve ball to the people that are still here fighting for the cause. While am happy for the union, I don't see the point of letting someone (if it's true this happened) like him get away with not paying for the scholarship and leaving his own family in the lurch.

This is not so much of a kow-tow. It's more of how we that are still here are being perceived, when some of us are trying to push societal inclusion.
84. 2011-12-22 11:57  
Petrona's makes tens of millions of dollars, so why are they complaining? Scholarships shouldn't have to be repaid. If you are granted one, you obviously worked hard enough to deserve it. Here in Australia, if you get a scholarship it pays for your education and doesn't involve you paying it back. They are only demanding money back now because his gone off and seeked a better life with it, and is gay. If Malaysia's government and the Islamic culture weren't so conservative and harsh, none of this would have happened. It's their own fault.
85. 2011-12-22 13:58  
it's glad to see this.... congrats...
86. 2011-12-22 14:12  
So happy for the couple!
87. 2011-12-22 15:05  
why everybody said good things about this guy? this guy used money from the sponsor company and try to hide coz he doesnt want to repayment. this is not the right way, not because of his gay that he has right to do this and all people on his side. his criminal.
88. 2011-12-22 15:06  
DarkEx and Chaser: You guys don't know the facts and are very quick to act superior to a gay guy when, as apsaras points out the same situation in a straight context wouldn't cause much of a stir. A creditor always takes a risk and there is no reason to believe he will not pay the debt back. We don't have slavery anymore. A person can change his mind about study (if that's what's happened and obviously would not be able to send a check). That's why terms are negotiated and debts of this kind can be settled over the long term. Petronas is not going to get into trouble if the money is paid back over time.
That you do not hold the father responsible for anything amazes me. You should know how unreasonable the homophobia of some people is...and they bear more than equal responsibility for the dysfunction it causes. Why do you insist on buying the "blame the victim" stuff?
You act like it's so easy to find love and that it can be planned to wait until your studies are over. Have you never felt passion? Are you so sure you would never take a chance for love?
Are you so sure you are better than him?
89. 2011-12-22 15:30  
Mr ariff is too excited about love that he jeoperdize his education, future and dropped university because of so called LOVE. Bravo young man, be happy and good luck with life. There are a lots of big adventures ahead of you besides love :)
90. 2011-12-22 18:03  
Muslims are today like the christian in the middle age, completely blind. They don't see that the world is changing, the values about sexuality are changing, the Muslim live in the 15th century with laws without any logic. The gays in the Muslim word do not have space for them. I hate religions because all are lies and lies, but today the Muslims are the worse.
91. 2011-12-22 18:03  
Muslims are today like the christian in the middle age, completely blind. They don't see that the world is changing, the values about sexuality are changing, the Muslim live in the 15th century with laws without any logic. The gays in the Muslim word do not have space for them. I hate religions because all are lies and lies, but today the Muslims are the worse.
92. 2011-12-22 18:04  
Muslims are today like the christian in the middle age, completely blind. They don't see that the world is changing, the values about sexuality are changing, the Muslim live in the 15th century with laws without any logic. The gays in the Muslim word do not have space for them. I hate religions because all are lies and lies, but today the Muslims are the worse.
93. 2011-12-22 18:12  
Muslims are today like the christian in the middle age, completely blind. They don't see that the world is changing, the values about sexuality are changing, the Muslim live in the 15th century with laws without any logic. The gays in the Muslim world do not have space for them. I hate religions because all are lies and lies, but today the Muslims are the worse.
94. 2011-12-22 20:36  
therd9: It is agreed that it would not cause as much of a stir if a straight guy does the same thing. HOWEVER, that does NOT excuse a straight/homosexual person that acted in such a way.

We are talking about the act of not paying violating the scholarship terms and not being in reach for three years and letting someone else clean the mess.

I personally don't care if it's straight or gay issue. If someone acts irresponsibly and expects another to clean up after them, it is not acceptable in any book.

Like I said and have stated multiple times, my thoughts apply on the basis that the act of him dropping out of school and being out of contact and not paying his scholarship back to Petronas and having the family pay the money is true from the article above.

A person can change his/her mind if they want to. However, if they accept a conditional offer and form a contract of agreement in which they potentially violate, it is their OWN responsibility to bear the consequences not anyone else's.

What is the father responsible for? Lodging a missing persons report for a son he's been searching for? Apparently finding one's own son that's gone missing is a bad thing.

I do not condone excusing someone for letting someone else clean up his/her own mess. Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I'll support everyone gay guy blindly even if he's done something wrong. Wrong is wrong even if it's for love.
95. 2011-12-22 21:32  
Wow...I guess everyone entitled to their opinions, and obviously based on the articles story, there are few parts that are dealing with this marriage impact, obviously the happy couple, the scholarship department and Ariff's family.
Ariff as a human being, in my opinion, is entitled to be happy, to marry anyone he wish to marry
Petronas the scholarship department or the company has the right to ask for their return of the investment
Ariff's family has the right not to be involved with the problem.

I am happy for both of them, obviously, to be married is a very big step to do, for either hetero or gay community. It is a forever commitment to one person only.

Arif also made a prior commitment with Petronas, he would finish his study and return back home.

Now, clearly he has decided to break the commitment AND MADE A CHOICE to be with his husband. I totally understand the feeling when you met the one that you want to spend the rest of your life with.

However, in my opinion, when you make a choice, you have to accept the consequence of the impact that you make when you made the decision. Alright, he is from a muslim background, and majority muslim country. As an adult, he should understand that if this is his decision, the possibility not to see his family or return to his country is very big.

With Petronas, I don't see why his family has to be responsible to pay for whatever his owing (according to them anyway). We don't know what sort of contract or scholarship that Arif has, most probably there are some points that mentioned he should return to Malaysia and serve the company etc....but nobody knows exactly what sort of contract he has, in my opinion, IT IS NOT OUR PLACE TO JUDGE this person since we don't know him personally and the details of the agreement.

I think, Petronas should be able to come to an agreement with Ariff in term of what sort of "price" he has to pay instead of asking him to pay the full amount which I think most people would not have. Ariff may complete his course, and find a job and pay back his scholarship within certain years agreement etc.

It is a beautiful thing when two persons decided to commit to each other forever, Ariff that is your decision, you chose to be in this, so, be fair to every parties, and accept all the consequences and your responsibilities.
96. 2011-12-22 21:53  
Sometimes we have to read the Malaysian news with pinch of salt. You cannot just read one side stories. He did say he did not went missing and was keeping contact with other family members except his father. Did he personally say he is not going to pay back the loan? May be not now, may be later... who knows? Please lah, there are thousands of students never pay back their student loan especially you all know who... so why single him out?

For his marriage I congratulate him!
97. 2011-12-22 22:18  
For those who blame him for stirring up a bad name for the community, I can only says Arif is merely representing his own stories. With the internet technology today, its very hard for someone to keep a ceremony like that a secret especially with iPhones and Facebook around, but then why must love be a secret? I see the straight couples can't wait to tell the whole world about their union! If you so think that we must have a role model to represent us so that the society can accept us better, then why don't you stand up and show the society that not all gays are like Arif? But then again who are you to represent the gay community?!!
98. 2011-12-22 23:27  
Malaysia is a primitive country governed by hypocrites. Their backward policies on homosexuality put them at odds with the United Nations human rights doctrines. These nasty and dishonest old men in power are living in their own little world which has not advanced since the middle ages! There is a proportion of men all over the world... in every country, who sometimes have sex with other men... it is a natural part of human society... and these repressive and outdated laws will never prevent it from happening. The Malaysian government are living in a state of delusion. What is also interesting, is that some of these grim and humourless men are secretly having sex with other men when they are able to do so privately... despite being married. Bi-sexuality is actually a very common thing... much more so than people imagine!
I say all power to this man who has married the man he loves.
We can only hope that their will be a change of leadership in Malaysia after the next election, though that won't be easy... given the very active 'dirty tricks' department that will cheat to stay in power!
Comment #99 was deleted by its author on 2011-12-23 00:12
Comment #100 was deleted by its author on 2011-12-23 00:30
Comment #101 was deleted by its author on 2011-12-23 00:30
102. 2011-12-23 00:31  
To all those self-righteous holier-than-thou people out there, try putting yourselves in Arif's shoes. A young gay man, growing up in an ultra-conservative, ultra-religious environment and a country so explicitly homophobic political opponents can be charged with purported sodomy counts alone. THAT is the kind of environment that poor man had to endure...and probably suffering lots of fools along the way. Normally, I would not condone Ariff's behavior but as we all know, desperation often forces human beings to the most extreme of measures.

And Ariff, ALL THE BEST to you and your new man :)
103. 2011-12-23 01:21  
And to quote FLAKEYSUSA, "Petronas? Really? This money is nothing to this company. God they even have an F1 Team. Talk about throwing money into an inferno." - Bravo and well-said!!! Short, sharp and no sugar-coating... such refreshing honesty !!!

And your story is really moving,too...I'll remember it always. :')
104. 2011-12-23 06:22  
BOYCOTT MALAYSIA by all of us that have kind words and wish him well will surely help. When the people hurt financially, they will revolt in unison against their corrupt government. Governments that have freedoms should be motivated to impose embargos against Malaysian goods and services.
105. 2011-12-23 12:06  
For those gay Malaysians (and Singaporeans) who are so quick to bring the law to bear on Ariff against all the contradicting reports, guess what? You have also broken the law by sleeping with another man (don't tell me you have not, gosh!). If you think you're not guilty, please check the criminal code of your country (and mine, unfortunately).

You may protest that Ariff has broken a valid law while you have broken an invalid law (in your opinion), but the straight people will still see you as pots calling the kettle black. You have all broken a law, one way or another. See the hypocrisy we get into by being so forthright in inflicting the law? But sorry, this is just a teaser, hehe, and not my main point.

My main point is simply this:

Do you believe reports coming from an institution that is anti-gay by law and anti-gay by religion as somewhat biased? Do you think you should take the incriminating comments with not just a pinch of salt, but many tablespoons of salt?

Did you make an effort to read the other contradicting reports such as the Irish Times? Perhaps it is biased too, but did you make an effort to read and take stock of both sides?

So while one report says Ariff was MIA for 3 years, the other report says he was in contact with his family members and authorities all this while. While one report says he has burdened his family with compensation responsibilities, the otehr report says he has all along been engaging Petronas privately on repayment arrangements.

Against contradicting reports, can we stay neutral till conclusive evidence comes up (if it ever comes up)? If not, which side we take speaks a lot about us as gay individuals.

The camp that supports Ariff chooses to see the inspiring side of the story. It's about a gay Muslim braving all odds to be with his love. Believe me, against a persecuting religion towards gays, (in some countries deadly persecuting), it is ten-fold more difficult for a gay Muslim to do what Ariff has done than any individual of other creeds. And that is why this camp has been trying to point out; that this positive message shines through the pile of inconclusive evidence.

The other camp bitches about the incriminating evidence as if it is proven beyond doubt given the guilty verdict that is laden everywhere in their content. Some, like DarkEstacy, used a few "ifs" but almost all his content smacks of a guilty verdict on Ariff. A very thin disguise, really. How about a few "if not's"? How about devoting half the content to saying his views if the incriminating evidence is not true? What is his take on the inspiring side of the story?

I suddenly recall an old English proverb: none so blind as those who won't see.
106. 2011-12-23 12:36  
Good luck to the couple.
I can see why they do not live in Malaysia and I can see why many tourists leave Malaysia off the list of places to visit.
If gays are second class citizens there so are women and other minorities. Many tourists would not feel safe there.
Those red necks are probably happy to live in their little bubble breathing only hatred for others. If they didn't have minorities to criticize and bully they would just turn on each other.
I certainly will not be visiting " simply awful Malaysia " until it begins to treat people fairly.
107. 2011-12-23 21:01  
Congrats to u both.Dont go back.stay and be happy married.
108. 2011-12-25 00:09  
Who gives a rat's ass? Ah yes, the usual- the clerics.
Worthy lesson to Malaysia Officials- planting gay hatred?
Haha, then PAY FOR IT!

Well done, boys! And best of luck! :)
109. 2011-12-25 08:06  
Therd9 is spot on. There are far too many people who are quick to judge based only on what little is written in a newspaper and their own assumptions. There is NOT ONE FACT that states that he has broken any contract yet you are all condeming him for leaving his family to pay. How do you know this is the case?
110. 2011-12-25 08:07  
And I like 108 ddarko. It's a fair slap in the face for the mad muslims who spread their own evil hatred that caused this situation so "in your eye" you self-righteous bigots.
111. 2011-12-28 23:05  
I hate to see gay people standing on the other side of fence and accusing its the wrong doing of the 'outed' gay person or criticise those who stand up for their rights in similar matters. Its the internalized homophobia that triggers the fear in them that they rather choose to criticise their own kind. It is very sad actually, but if they really have the guts to go against someone on a gay social network with their face published (I mean Fridae is not exclusively LGBT, I am sure there are molds in here), I challenge them to stand up to go against those who condemn us instead. Please people, know your "enemies"! And they say the greatest enemy is in us, we are our own fear!
112. 2011-12-31 05:07  
for an expat malaysian not to repay a student loan is not much of a deal, so far as i know.

i used to get these letters where i lived, as my partner had a student loan. the malaysian gov't sends a demand for payment about every six months and he and other malays who aren't intending to return there just bin the letters without a second thought.

this makes me wonder whether scholarship providers are in the habit of making the family pay even if they have to go guarantor to get a loan in the first place.

it further makes me wonder if the story is a beat-up, and it wouldn't have been news had not PBIK made a complaint.

remember the government in malaysia is on the nose for corruption issues, and it would be no surprise to see bodies associated with the government looking for scapegoats. question: is PBIK such a body?
113. 2011-12-31 05:07  
for an expat malaysian not to repay a student loan is not much of a deal, so far as i know.

i used to get these letters where i lived, as my partner had a student loan. the malaysian gov't sends a demand for payment about every six months and he and other malays who aren't intending to return there just bin the letters without a second thought.

this makes me wonder whether scholarship providers are in the habit of making the family pay even if they have to go guarantor to get a loan in the first place.

it further makes me wonder if the story is a beat-up, and it wouldn't have been news had not PBIK made a complaint.

remember the government in malaysia is on the nose for corruption issues, and it would be no surprise to see bodies associated with the government looking for scapegoats. question: is PBIK such a body?
114. 2012-01-01 16:05  
Islam Like christianity is a doomed desert religion, so many can't wait to get to the 'west' so they can break free of it, I've met plenty here in Australia gay, straight, men and woman alike who are much like lapsed Catholics and do pretty much as they like, aside of course from publicly disclaiming their religion for fear of a death sentences, no matter what local self appointed Islamic clerics think it is not inevitable that islam will take over here but it will be inevitable a civil war and their being ejected if they even try.. will
115. 2012-01-02 11:15  
The Malaysian government should give him a pension so that he could live comfortably in Ireland with his husband...
116. 2012-01-09 13:38  
I feel sorry for his parents mostly. They paid 8 trips to Ireland to just wanting to find their dear son which they thought was missing in the past three years. I think he should've contacted his parents continuously even if he had already found out whom he wanted to be. He could still pursue his happiness, though he might need to hide who he really is from them under some special circumstances. I think it was about a timing. Also what he did was not right at all...I just don't think it is right chasing after your own happiness, leave other's to suffer,especially these ones are you families.
117. 2012-01-11 13:24  
just to let u all know i never visit anti-gay country so they dont get my tourist dollars i wish other gay travellers did same?
u are talkig about millions of dollars in lost revenue if more travellers did it!
118. 2012-01-11 13:24  
just to let u all know i never visit anti-gay country so they dont get my tourist dollars i wish other gay travellers did same?
u are talking about millions of dollars in lost revenue if more travellers did it!

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