A couple’s courageous act of rescuing two boys, aged 10 and four, from a burning shop in Pagoh, Johor, last month, was given due recognition by the National Press Club of Malaysia (NPC) through its NPC-Macrokiosk Muhibbah Award.

Convenience store worker Amirul Husni Afendey, 25, and his wife, factory worker Nur Syarina Muhammad Noor, 23, were named the winner for August, for helping a father save his two young sons from a burning shophouse in Lenga, Bukit Kepong, on July 6.

Recalling the incident during the presentation ceremony today, Amirul said he never expected that their deed would be recognised.

“This award will motivate us to continue helping others in need,” he said.

On the morning of July 6, Amirul had sent Syarina to wait for her factory bus, opposite the row of shops.

Suddenly, Syarina noticed black smoke billowing from one of the shophouses nearby, the one owned by Zamirul Suahimi.

A few moments later, Zamirul opened the window, desperately pleading for help while carrying his sons, Muhammad Firas Syahmi, 10, and Muhammad Harith, four, from the upper floor of the shophouse. The only way out was to jump through the window.

Without thinking, Amirul and Syarina ran to catch the two boys, who landed safely in their arm.

However, Zamirul, who jumped from the same floor after throwing down his sons, injured his hand when it hit a zinc structure. He also suffered burns to his ear, eyelids, and mouth, and suffered swelling around his neck. He was later treated at the Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital in Muar.

In the 4.30am incident, 10 shophouses, comprising a sundry shop, two motorcycle shops, a home appliances shop, and a house, were razed.

NPC president Datuk Ahirudin Attan said the couple was most deserving for their selfless act of helping a father and his two sons.

“This month’s winner is worthy of the award as the judges acknowledge and reward their courage in helping a fellow human being. They did so with no regard for recognition, reward, or for their own safety.”

Macrokiosk chief executive officer, Datuk Kenny Goh, said the couple’s selfless act truly embodies the spirit of Muhibbah.

“Noble acts such as that of Amirul’s and Syarina’s, are rarely heard of. We hope this award will continue to inspire others,” said Goh.

NPC, together with enterprise solutions platform provider Macrokiosk, launched the monthly award series in April to recognise individuals, groups, or organisations, that best embody the true spirit of Muhibbah in Malaysia. Media editors take turns to evaluate nominees for the award.

The NPC-Macrokiosk Muhibbah Award carries a cash prize of RM2,000, a certificate, and vouchers from Tealive, Jaya Grocer, and llaollao.

Previous winners of the Muhibbah Awards were the Saidina Abu Bakar As-Siddiq Mosque in Bangsar (May), Dignity for Children (June), and the Taiping Soup Kitchen and Gurdwara Sahib Taiping, in July.

Main image: Zamirul (right) expresses his deep gratitude to Amirul and his wife Nur Syarina for their heroic efforts in saving his sons’ lives in the fire.

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