A version of this ‘testimony’ of the late Dr Azahari Husin has appeared in the Star Online too.
The bloke providing us with a glimpse of the ‘fun bloke’ that used to be Dr Azahari is Lum Chih Feng, a former student of the once-UTM lecturer and now deceased terrorist bomb maker.
Lum was an undergraduate in Azahari’s class on property valuation. As I had blogged previously on Dr Azahari as a very decent, humorous and fun-loving bloke, as remembered by his Aussie friends, Lum confirmed that image of the late lecturer. Yes, Lum too called him a fun teacher, and indeed as a passionate soccer fan as well.
Amazingly, Lum even recalled that Azahari had once casually mentioned about bomb-making during his class, saying that the process was not difficult, but Lum iterated that the late lecturer didn’t go into details other than to make that passing remark.
Needless to say, like Azahari’s Aussie friends, Lum and other Malaysian students have been utterly shocked by the revelation that the popular lecturer had gone over to the other side of society - the shock being more pronounced considering that Azahari had been considered as a very nice guy and a damn good teacher, but his subsequent terrorist notoriety made him into the most wanted bomb maker in our world.
Again, like Aussies who knew Azahari, Lum informed that the lecturer had never ever indicated such inclination or traits for Islamic extremism. In fact, according to Lum, with regards to Islamic extremism, Azahari had stood out in contrast to other Muslim lecturers by his lack of such overt symbolism like wearing the ‘Haji’ skullcaps (Islamic yarmulke) or Middle-eastern robes.
Lum has fantastic praises for Dr Azahari's prowess as a lecturer where his lessons were delivered so effectively that prompted students to advance to higher level thinking, truly the hallmark of an exceptional instructor.
Then on the social side, Lum said Azahari was a jovial bloke and indicated his love for English soccer, especially when the late lecturer studied in Britain. Azahari admitted to his devoted following of the English soccer league with Mancester United as his favourite team, jokingly confessing to the typical behaviour of a staunch soccer fan like removing his T-shirt when his team scored a goal.
How did such a man become what he had been, abandoning his family, lifestyle and amazing teaching profession to take up the cause for an extremist intolerant terrorist group. How did such a mild mannered, humorous and dedicated teacher become the cold-blooded killer he had been? How does one comprehend such a swing of the psychological pendulum for Dr Azahari Husin?
(1) From Fun Bloke to Murderous Terrorist
(2) Azahari Husin – Doctor of Sufferings