News of Malaysian rocker-actor Awie allegedly hitting his wife in public came as a shock to his fans. It was met with disdain by netizens, some of who labelled him a "wife-beater". Police have confirmed to Malaysian newspaper Kosmo! that he is being investigated for allegedly causing hurt to Ms Rozana Misbun, 36.
It was reported that Awie had allegedly assaulted his wife in front of a bank near Ampang, a town in KL, earlier last month. Photos of a woman believed to be Ms Rozana, with bruises on her face, later made the rounds online.
When contacted, Awie, 45, declined to talk about the incident, but told The New Paper that it served as a wake-up call for him to be a better father to his children. "Maybe there is a hidden blessing in this incident, especially since it's the month of Ramadan (Muslim fasting month).
"With my hectic schedule, I was unable to spend as much time with them. Now, I pick them up from school when I can and also cook for them," Awie said in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday.
"My kids have been through what I have all these years, so they are on my side. I am lucky," he said without elaborating. Awie spoke cryptically when asked about the reason behind his actions, which he neither admitted nor denied. "No one is perfect. All I can say is the truth will eventually be revealed.
"Maybe I didn't guide her well enough as a husband because of my hectic schedule. "I have now learnt not to trust too easily. I trusted a particular individual 150 per cent - that was my mistake. I will be more careful now," he said.
Ms Rozana and her sisters, actresses Haliza and Amanda Misbun, have not shed much light on what happened that day. Ms Amanda, 25, told Malaysian paper Utusan Malaysia: "I cannot comment because it is not my place to do that. In my family, we don't get involved in marital matters because it is private. As far as I know, my sister is happy and when I met her recently, she was fine."
LET PHOTOS SPEAK
Ms Haliza, 41, has also declined to comment, choosing to "abide by the law" and "let the photos speak for themselves". Awie said that his wife left home shortly after the incident, leaving behind their three children, aged seven, six and four, and Awie's two children from a previous marriage.
He said that Ms Rozana has blocked him on messaging app Whatsapp and that he has no idea where she is. They would have celebrated their ninth-year wedding anniversary a few weeks after that fateful day. Awie, who calls his children his "source of strength", said that his main focus now is on providing for them and keeping them happy.
"Of course, I am affected by this. She is the mother of my children. But I am okay now. I feel fresh, like I have finally woken up from a deep sleep," he said.
But he also revealed that he has lost weight and is now "traumatised" and "paranoid" when in public. If there was any ill feeling between Awie and his wife, he made sure to not to reveal them, saying: "I don't know what is going to happen any more, but I wish her all the best.
"Whatever she says about me, I will accept it. I will just do as the police and court ask because the proof is in my hands." He declined to reveal what this "proof" was. Asked about the possibility of divorce, Awie refused comment and said: "I will never let my children go. I will fight for them no matter what."
He is keeping busy with a live-action animation called Upin & Ipin…Jeng Jeng Jeng, and a possible comeback concert with his rock band Wings.
Fans of Wings expressed disappointment at the incident.
"It's up to his wife to forgive him, but for me, hitting your wife in public is a major no-no, no matter the reason," said Ms Normalis Abdul Hamid, 43, who works in the banking industry.
Said Young Lions team manager Muhammad Aizat Ramli, 28: "Many people follow his music and look up to him as a hero and role model. "I hope the allegation is not true because I'm against domestic violence. If it is true, it will be hard to say that he has my utmost respect."
This article was first published on July 3, 2014.
Get The New Paper for more stories.