Woman returns to Kedah for Hari Raya in a box
She met her husband on Instagram in 2019, got engaged and moved to Singapore to get married a year later.
Nearly two years on, Malaysian Siti Nasuha Abdullah's surprise reunion for Hari Raya Aidilfitri with her mother in Kedah is making waves on TikTok and has garnered more than 730,000 views.
Ms Nasuha, 23, arrived at her family home last week in a delivery box, springing out of it to greet her startled mother before they embraced.
Her husband, Singaporean Shaik Izzul Mujahid, 24, had shaved his beard, donned a deliveryman's uniform, wore a mask and removed his spectacles when he arrived at the house with a large box.
As Madam Jariyah Othman sobbed and embraced her daughter, she asked: "Why did you come in a box? Did you come alone? Where is Izzul?"
Mr Izzul, who had only met his mother-in-law twice previously, was recording the emotional reunion.
In a phone interview over the weekend from Kedah, the couple said they were inspired by other TikTok videos of Malaysian citizens living in Singapore returning home after two years, many of whom took their loved ones by surprise.
So when both countries announced the reopening of their land border for fully vaccinated travellers from April 1, they made plans to travel to Kedah for Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
But first, they told Madam Jariyah over the phone that they could not travel as they were still settling into their new jobs.
Mr Izzul, a former deliveryman, recently started work as an ambulance driver, while Ms Nasuha is a cashier at a provision store.
Their love story began when Mr Izzul, who was intrigued by the various Malay dialects, was hoping to find a spouse from the northern Malaysian states of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. He scrolled through Instagram accounts from people based in Kedah as it was the easiest of the three states to get to from Singapore.
"I thought that if I find someone from Kedah, it will allow us to easily go back to her home town for Hari Raya visits in the future," he said.
Ms Nasuha's account piqued his interest - it only had photos of places and backgrounds, and photos of herself only captured her back - but it would be a few months before he mustered the courage to message her.
She took a while to respond, as her mother was not fond of her entering into a long-distance relationship. Ms Nasuha has 10 siblings, but a sister went missing in 2013 and a brother died by drowning in 2017, and their father died in 2015.
She only replied to Mr Izzul once she had received her mother's permission.
After talking online for a month, they decided to meet in Kedah and Mr Izzul asked Madam Jariyah for her daughter's hand in marriage.
After postponing their marriage twice due to Covid-19 restrictions, the couple got married in Singapore in November 2020.
As they could not have an overseas holiday, their "honeymoon" was spent listening to love songs together, as Mr Izzul went around the island making deliveries in his van.
For now, the couple are glad Ms Nasuha is reunited with her mother.
"When she tested positive for Covid-19, I could not be there for her," she said.
Said Mr Izzul: "She's really gone through a lot and loves her mother so much."
The couple plan to spend three weeks in Kedah before returning to Singapore to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri with Mr Izzul's family.