Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Indigenous boy charms people with his blue eyes

TAPAH (BERNAMA) – Despite being deaf and mute, 11-year-old Malaysian boy Rafizal Baharom (Bernama pic, below) often left people captivated by his blue eyes.

The younger of two siblings from the Semai tribe often gets attention from his schoolmates who are fascinated by the uniqueness of his eyes and they loved taking pictures with him.

His mother Roshayati Bahmiri, 36, said she, her brother and her eldest son, Rafizi, 14, were also blessed with one blue eye and explained that it was not an inherited trait or a result of mixed marriages.

“Many have asked if I’m married to a ‘mat saleh’ (Caucasian) and wonder why we have blue eyes. I just calmly replied that this is Allah the Almighty’s gift to our family,” she said when met at her house in Kampong Batu 19, about 100 kilometres away from Ipoh.

Elaborating, Roshayati said Rafizal began learning sign language when he was nine years old and currently attends a boarding school for children with special needs, Sekolah Kebangsaan Pendidikan Khas in Chemor.

The mother believed that hostel life is important to help his son improve in terms of speech and hearing as well as to master sign language.

According to Roshayati, Rafizal received Child Financial Assistance of MYR150 a month from the Malaysian Social Welfare Department for school-related expenses.

Meanwhile, his class teacher A Tain Moli said Rafizal was an excellent student not only in academics but also in sports and recently competed in a shot put event for the District Schools Sports Council.

“Rafizal is good at using the sign language he has learned. We are impressed with his determination,” she said.

The story of Rafizal’s blue eyes was shared by Malaysia’s Department of Orang Asli Development on its Facebook page recently and attracted praises from netizens.