Wealthy Malaysian businessman offers legal aid to man accused of stealing money to buy baby formula

Photo illustration
Photo illustration

Amid a complex interplay of law, ethics, and compassion, a poignant tale unfolds. While society upholds the sanctity of property rights, there exists a shadowy realm where destitution drives individuals to break the law.

It’s a story of an unemployed man who, three months ago, found himself pleading guilty to a RM22 (US$4.70) heist from a mosque’s donation box. What makes this narrative truly remarkable is the unexpected twist of compassion that emerged from an unlikely source.

Enter Sunny Ung, a prominent businessman with a heart as vast as his wealth. In a recent interview with Kosmo, he revealed his offer to shoulder the accused man’s legal expenses. This act of benevolence came from his steadfast belief that every person, irrespective of their circumstances, deserves a robust legal defense.

Ung’s empathy extends beyond mere generosity. He recognizes that the accused resorted to theft, taking RM22, only after a desperate confrontation with his mother, who chastised him for lacking the funds to purchase essential items such as baby formula and other necessities.

Such dire situations, Ung argues, should find resolution through understanding and empathy, without the necessity of a courtroom battle.

The original incident, which occurred on June 27, involved Suhaidi Abdul Hamid pilfering RM22 from the donation box of a local mosque at 9:15pm. After an ensuing manhunt, he was apprehended at a Kuala Nerus supermarket on July 3. Subsequently, he faced charges under Section 380 of the Penal Code, which carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine.

Magistrate Noor Mazrinie Mahmood has scheduled the sentencing for Sept. 26, a date when Suhaidi’s fate will be decided.

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