Ten years ago, mathematics prodigy Sufiah Yusof was the toast of Malaysia after she was accepted to study at Oxford University aged just 13. Feted by sultans and ministers, a lifetime of success beckoned as she departed for Britain on a fully paid scholarship. Her example was touted to a generation of students as an example of what could be achieved with hard work and dedication. That sense of national pride in Ms Yusof has now been obliterated with the revelation over the weekend that the former girl-genius is now working as a prostitute in Manchester. 'She inspired legions of poor Malaysians to reach for the skies,' said Ravindran Nair, 78, a retired teacher of gifted children. 'This is the most shocking news in my life, I simply can't believe it. What do teachers tell their students now? 'She was so gifted there was no place in Malaysia for her. 'When she entered Oxford we all rejoiced because she was leading the way. 'She was an inspiration to millions of students ... Most Malaysians are a conservative lot - this outcome is really tragic.' On Sunday, Britain's News of the World published surreptitious photographs of a naked Yusof and told how she worked as a prostitute out of a run-down flat in Manchester. The report, reproduced by Malaysian newspapers yesterday, said Ms Yusof called herself Shilpa Lee on a prostitution website which listed her as 'available for booking every day from 11am to 8pm'. Her price was GBP130 (HK$2,020) an hour. The revelations came a week after Ms Yusof's Pakistani father, Farooq Yusof, 50, was jailed in Britain for 18 months by the Coventry Crown Court for molesting two 15-year-old girls he was tutoring in maths. 'The tragic life of Sufiah,' read the headline in Utusan Malaysia, which is widely read in rural Malaysia. 'Why? How?' the paper asked. A sign of Ms Yusof's troubles emerged in 2000 when she ran away from Oxford and was found two weeks later in an internet cafe. She was put in the care of welfare services, despite her father's bizarre claim that she had been kidnapped by people who wanted to know the secrets of the advanced learning techniques he had used on her. In many interviews, Ms Yusof's parents described teaching methods that involved total sacrifice from their children. She was taken out of school aged eight and taught at home in southern Johore state. 'This is a tragedy, made in the home by parents forcing their child to become superwoman,' said Siva Subramaniam, of the National Union of the Teaching Profession. He said too much weight of expectation was placed upon Ms Yusof. 'Malaysian parents are pushing their children beyond limits just to get straight A grades. 'The previous record was 17 As, but this year a student got 21 As in the O-level examination. So now the race is to exceed 21 As. Teachers are part of this tragedy.' An education ministry spokeswoman declined to comment on Ms Yusof's case, but denied schools were unreasonably pushing students to get straight As. 'We are against this,' she said.