MALACCA - Brought up by a military-trained father who values integrity over self-interest, hotel staff Norashimah Abdul Razak did not hesitate to return a bag full of money - with Australian currency worth close to RM100,000 (S$ 40,000) - back to its owner.
The 72-year-old hotel guest had left the bag in the safe in his room and checked out without realising he had left the bag behind.
The Australian was on his way to Kuala Lumpur yesterday when the hotel management contacted him. Only then did he realise he had left his bag behind at Hotel Equatorial here.
The hotel management then arranged an appreciation event for Norashimah and awarded her an exclusive plaque for her honesty.
Norashimah, 30, an assistant front office manager, said her soldier father had taught her that taking things that belonged to someone else was a sin.
Relating the events before the bag was returned to its owner, she said after the guest left in the morning, she entered his room to make a check and saw the bag in the safe.
She immediately sensed it contained a lot of money and quickly informed her superiors about the find. She later found out that the bag contained notes amounting to A$30,000 (RM89,510).
"My dad's rule of thumb is to never take anyone's belongings and respect those who are elder, regardless of their race.
"My father's advice crossed my mind and I told myself to refrain from any temptation to take the money," she said when interviewed.
Norashimah, the eldest of six siblings, said her retired military father had planted the right attributes in his children.
"Dad imparted all the right values in us and we were always reminded to respect everyone," she said.
The guest, who returned to the hotel to get his bag, said he was in Malaysia for a holiday.
"I am extremely thankful. God bless honest Malaysians," he said.
Hotel general manager Adrian Chung said he was proud that his staff had manifested such high integrity,