KUALA LUMPUR - Earning a meagre income as a hawker didn't stop one man from adopting an abandoned baby but the difficult circumstances pushed him to steal clothing for the child.
A magistrate's court fined Mohd Nooh Sudin, 54, RM200 (S$74.50) yesterday for stealing children's undergarments, a shirt and pants worth RM295 in total.
He stole the clothes from trader Bustamam Baharudin at a stall along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman here at about 10am on Jan 17.
"I did not want to steal but I was desperate," he said after paying the fine yesterday.
"Life is hard. Milk powder for the baby costs RM11, the cheapest I can afford to buy, and it lasts only two days."
Mohd Nooh sells sugarcane water in Ipoh and earns about RM1,200 a month. His family stays in Kuala Lumpur so he commutes weekly, which takes up RM400 of his monthly earnings.
He also has four other children to provide for, two of them still in school.
"I took pity on the baby and I like children," said Mohd Nooh who adopted the 16-month-old girl about two months ago.
"My wife and I really enjoy having her in our family."
Counsel Suriati Che Ariffin in mitigation earlier asked magistrate Nurul'Ain Abdul Rahim to consider Mohd Nooh's circumstances.
She said he was a kind man who had committed the crime out of desperation.