A tearful 3-year-old boy was found alone at a seafood restaurant in Alai here on Sunday night.
He was noticed by a restaurant patron at 9.30pm, to whom he said: “My mummy and daddy have gone home.”
Not knowing what to do, the patron handed the tyke to the restaurant’s proprietor, Irsyad Hadi Zainal, 32, who then endeavoured to search for the missing parents.
It was later learnt that the child was a member of a family of 30 which had feasted on the restaurant’s ikan bakar offering.
The boy is believed to have fallen asleep during the meal and in the melee of leaving, was overlooked and left behind by his large clan.
The toddler’s plight immediately went viral on social media when a Twitter user at the restaurant uploaded an image of the boy with the caption: “Shocking! After satisfying their appetites with ikan bakar, a family leaves their son, who is sleeping on a table!”
In the meantime, Irsyad, with the boy crying in his arms, roamed his restaurant, going from table to table looking for his parents.
“Because I get so many customers, I couldn’t pinpoint which patrons the boy belonged to. I kept walking around, until I realised that the boy had fallen asleep in my arms,” he said.
“Two hours later, with no luck, and with no one coming forward to claim the boy, I decided to make a police report. But just then, I received a phone call from a man claiming to be the child’s father,” Irsyad told NSTP here.
The 39-year-old father, who is believed to have been from Kuala Lumpur, finally showed up at around midnight.
“As a precaution, I asked the man for his IC number before handing the toddler over to him,” said Irsyad, who added that in his 18 years as a restaurateur, he had never faced a situation like that.