MALAYSIA - An active sex life and reading makes one healthy, wealthy and wise - that is the advice of Terengganu's Tokoh Nilam award winner Alias Ismail, 41 (pictured above right), whose boundless energy during the day has surprised his colleagues.
His colleagues at SMK Menerong in Hulu Terengganu, about 125km from Kuala Terengganu, have often wondered how the Bahasa Melayu teacher manages to remain energetic enough to conduct additional co-curriculum activities until late evening.
"They always ask me whether I consume jamu (traditional herbs) to keep me going," said Alias.
"Often, they are astonished when I tell them that it's actually an active sex life and reading that makes one healthy, wealthy and wise."
Alias was the inaugural recipient of the state-initiated award to honour a teacher who has managed outstanding achievements in education.
He received the award from Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said at Dewan Al-Muktafi Billah Shah, Universiti Darul Iman Malaysia in Kuala Terengganu.
Alias also received a sponsored package to perform the haj.
The father of four said he made it a point to have sex daily before he and his wife retired for the night and felt it made him more agile and active.
"A good and legitimate sexual relationship is a kind of energy booster for me and my wife that has not only kept our marriages ties cordial but also made our bodies and brains function remarkably," he said.
Alias said he was able concentrate on his work after a "blissful" night with his wife.
He added it was also a nightly ritual for both him and his wife, Rosmahwati Abd ullah, 41, to read a few pages of a book and have an intellectual conversation before moving on to other "activities".
The couple have been doing this since their marriage 25 years ago and they have a collection of 1,000 books, including romance novels.
Alias said he was not shy about sharing his secret as he only believes in halal (legitimate) sex with his wife and not adultery.
He has also shared his secret with his eldest son, now 23.
"I told my son to always adhere to religious and moral values once he is married but should always keep their union exciting by maintaining the 'reading and sex' concept," he quipped.
Alias, who was shortlisted from 41 teachers, has previously received dozens of state awards and accolades.
He has also written books for UPSR and SPM and contributes articles to magazines like Pelita Bahasa, Dewan Sastera, Dewan Masyarakat, Dewan Budaya and Dewan Siswa.
Among the popular books that he has written are Bukan Duniaku and Azfa Hanani for secondary students.
He also holds the current state record for having read 2,100 books.