Dr Alias was perhaps the longest serving chairman of my secondary school's Parent-Teacher Association. My father knew him quite well. When my sister was in school, both of them became quite close as they waited for their daughters to finish the day's schooling.
His eldest daughter is one year older than myself, and his youngest was the same age as my sister (14 years my junior). I know three of his daughters quite well. In fact, his second daughter Arni Aryani Sarlis was in my batch in school. His passing is most definitely a great loss to his family.
In my professional career, I have met him several times during academic seminars. He lectured at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) and more recently the Open University of Malaysia (OUM). I am sure his students will miss him dearly.
A childhood friend, Wong Chee Hong, would never miss visiting his home in Kulim during Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Dr Alias was always a father figure to the friends of his daughters. We are always welcomed to his home.
My only regret is that I came to know of his passing rather late. I was unable to pay my last respects. Nonetheless, I pray that his ruh will be placed amongst those who are promised paradise in the Hereafter. And to his family who mourn his passing, I pray that they would remain strong.