This photo of a Malaysian boy sharing a moment with his buffalo won a contest – and more photos of his life with the cattle are now stunning the Internet

The photo “Sharing Emotion” depicting a Malaysian boy and a cattle herd won an Asian Geographic competition in the category of Street/People Photographer of the Year.
Facebook / Asian Geographic

Photos of an unlikely friendship between a Malaysian boy and a herd of buffaloes that his father rears are charming the Internet.

The life of 14-year-old Malaysian Mohd Syukur Khamis was first thrown in the spotlight when a photo featuring him sitting among the herd won an award in the Images of Asia competition run by Singapore-based magazine Asian Geographic.

The photo titled “Sharing Emotion” won photographer Mohd Nazri Sulaiman the title of Street/People Photographer of the Year.

The photographer – who is from Terengganu but resides in Kuala Lumpur – was awarded US$1,000 (RM4,133), a trip to Wakayama Prefecture and an Epson SureColor SC-P607 Photo Printer, Asian Geographic said in a Facebook post on Nov 25 last year.

Thanks to that photo, a series of earlier photographs featuring the Terengganu boy playing and spending time with his cattle are now being shared.

In a report, Mohd Syukur Khamis told New Straits Times (NST) that he has been photographed by photographers from all around the world, including the US and India, since 2016.

Works by Terengganu-based photographer Abdullah Deen Mohd Zain – who goes by the Facebook username Dallah Dean Photography – are now among the many being shared online.

In a recent interview with mStar, Dallah Dean said many have confused his photos with the award-winning entry, and cleared the air that he was not the one who won the Asian Geographic award. However, he has works revolving around the same boy and his cattle herd since late 2014, Star2 reported.

Mohd Syukur, a Form 2 student at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Padang Midin, told NST that he formed a bond with the buffaloes ever since he was four years old. He would follow his father – who works as an animal breeder – to his buffalo pen in Kampung Kubang Bujuk in Kuala Terengganu.


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Lama tk post kuba

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According to NST, the boy has such a strong bond with the animals that they seem to obey his commands, and he has even slept next to them and given some of them names such as Awang, Wahab, Saat and Boy.

Nicknamed “Malaysia Mowgli”, NST quoted him as saying: “The buffalo that is closest to me was Awang, and he was also the one who would accompany me the most in photo shoots, but he died.”


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Gambar lama….kedinginan pagi

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Apart from buffaloes, the boy has forged friendships with the cows, goats and geese that his father rears.


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Despite becoming an Internet sensation, Mohd Syukur was quoted by NST as saying that he was “not proud” of his new found fame, but “just happy because people used to put my father down for working as a buffalo breeder”.

“But today, I am happy to make my father proud and to be able to change people’s perception towards what my father does for a living,” he told NST.

The youngest of eight also told NST that although his family never asked the photographers for money, he has accepted some tips and collected about RM1,000 so far.

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