A Malaysian lawyer’s story about a mother’s selfless act has touched the hearts of many on social media.
Loving thief: In a now-viral video uploaded on TikTok on July 27, lawyer Ahmad Zaharil Muhaiyar recounts that in 1998, he represented a mother who resorted to stealing a pencil box worth 18 Malaysian ringgit (approximately $3.95) to reward her son for doing well in school.
The woman, who worked as a cleaner, had promised the pencil box to her son if he became a top student in his school. Due to her family’s financial constraints, she was forced to steal just to fulfill her promise. Upon learning about the woman’s case, Muhaiyar decided to take the case pro bono.
“I met the headmaster, and he took out his report card, which confirmed that the child was first in his class,” shares Muhaiyar in Malaysian, according to the New Straits Times.
The judge’s verdict: Upon evaluating the case, the magistrate opted to discharge the mother, merely imposing a good behavior bond that would last for over a year. After the hearing, Muhaiyar, the court staff and some police officers contributed to a collection of a couple of hundred ringgit for the woman.
“We handed over the money to the woman,” Muhaiyar told the The Straits Times. “She left after expressing her gratitude, and I never saw her again.”
A grateful son: In 2018, a man in his early thirties approached Muhaiyar in a courtroom to express his gratitude for helping his mother with the case. The man, who turned out to be the very child for whom the stolen pencil box was intended, is now a successful lawyer himself.
“My mother saw you in the news on TV over a case you had handled and told me who you are,” the man reportedly said. “I searched for you and am so glad to meet you.”
According to Muhaiyar, he has since maintained a close relationship with the lawyer and his family, even visiting them during festive occasions.
Viral story: The heart-tugging narrative has resonated deeply with social media users, amassing over 1.2 million views on TikTok. Netizens have praised the lawyer’s compassion and the enduring power of a mother’s love for her son.