A lawyer’s empathy towards a distressed mother in 1998 now wins him the prestigious National Press Club-Macrokiosk Muhibbah Award for September
Datuk Ahmad Zaharil Muhaiyar, an empathetic man in his 30s, encountered a distressed Malaysian lady who faced allegations of pilfering a pencil box worth RM18. Get it as a gift for her smart 10-year-old son, her only child who excelled in his class.
Ahmad Zaharil, in a recent news report, shared his feelings of distress when he witnessed a woman in her 50s being escorted by the police while wearing handcuffs inside the courtroom. At that time, he had recently completed dealing with another legal case.
Upon learning what had happened, he intervened, concerned about the fate of the woman’s son in case went to jail. He made every effort, even visiting the boy’s school, to verify his good performance in the exams.
He later returned to the courtroom with the boy’s teacher, and defended the woman. The judge showed mercy and gave her a probationary bond.
In 2018, Ahmad Zaharil met a man in his early 30s who claimed to be the woman’s son. Due to he‘s compassion, the young man was motivated to become a lawyer.
“Never did I expect my simple act from 25 years ago could lead to such a beautiful connection. I was doing what I was trained to do as a member of the legal fraternity.”
“I’m truly honoured to receive this award, which truly goes to every Malaysian who has lived in the spirit of Muhibbah over the decades.”
He added that Malaysians have so many similarities and urged them to not focus on their differences.
“We are 98 per cent similar. So why do we keep on talking about the two per cent difference all the time?
“I studied in the United Kingdom and there, friends, regardless of race, will all spend time together. But the minute we return to Malaysia, everyone goes their own way. Why?”
Ahmad Zaharil, a seasoned aid provider for the homeless in Chow Kit and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur, is unwavering in his dedication to helping the less fortunate.
The NPC-Macrokiosk Muhibbah Award includes RM2,000 cash, a certificate, and vouchers from popular brands Tealive, Jaya Grocer, and llaollao.
NPC Deputy President Haresh Deol commended Ahmad Zaharil for his compassionate actions while presenting him with the award.
“Ahmad Zaharil showed what being human is all about. His motivation then was just to help out a fellow Malaysian. Instead, he changed both their lives,” said Haresh.
“The act is inspirational and embodies the true spirit of Muhibbah. I truly hope this will encourage more Malaysians to make a difference,” he added.
Macrokiosk CEO Datuk Kenny Goh commended the winner, stating, Ahmad Zaharil’s story embodies the Muhibbah spirit we honor and promote with this award.
“His compassion has impressed the judges and serves as an inspiration for all Malaysians.”
In addition to the press, Malaysian Bar chairman, Karen Cheah, also attended to the event.
NPC and Macrokiosk launched the monthly award series in April to recognize those who exemplify the spirit of Muhibbah in Malaysia. Media editors alternate in evaluating nominees.
Previous Muhibbah Award winners include Saidina Abu Bakar As-Siddiq Mosque in Bangsar (May), Dignity for Children (June), Taiping Soup Kitchen and Gurdwara Sahib Taiping (July), and Amirul Husni Afendey and Nur Syarina Muhammad Noor (August).