12-year-old Thaqif Makes Waves as Malaysia’s Youngest Game Developer

By Lan KB

Muhammad Thaqif’s story has become a hit not just in Malaysia but also internationally. Who is he and what has he achieved? Read on and be inspired!

What’s his story?

Twelve-year-old Muhammad Thaqif has won the hearts of fellow Malaysians after he built his own zombie-shooting e-sports game at an internet cafe and then tried to sell it online for RM1(US$0.25) to help his mother – only to have his work deleted by the shop staff because they thought it was a virus.

This is how this story started

In the words of Thaqif:

“Assalamualaikum and hello everyone, to those who asked me when my game was going to be finished, I have some bad news. The CC [cybercafe] owner deleted my application and its data.

“I visited the CC earlier to continue developing the game, but they told me it was deleted. I’ve spent close to a year on this game, and the product was deleted. The game was 75 per cent completed.”

However, the data was eventually recovered by the internet cafe owner after his story went viral in Malaysia.

What happened next?

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq decided to wade in and throw his support for Thaqif.

After vising the boy, Malaysia’s youngest minister – a major supporter of e-sports in the country – said this in his social media:

“[I’m pictured] together with the youngest game developer, Thaqif who studied at tahfiz [religious school]. He once tried to sell his own game at RM1 which was developed in cybercafe.

 “The industry is expected to be worth around US$4.5 billion by 2021. I want to position Malaysia as the leader in Asean.”

What next for Thaqif?

Thaqif used to spend time at a nearby internet cafe and work on his game because his family could not afford a PC. However now, he can work on his project at the comfort of his home, thanks to a generous donor.

He recently was gifted a computer by an imam who was inspired by the young boy’s sincerity.

The computer will also be handy for the boy to help his mother with her online business.

He has also received pledges of RM1, RM5 and RM100 to finish his game.

‘Keep up your good work bro’

Thaqif’s story has become a hit not just in Malaysia but also internationally. The social media too is raving about him.

“Brilliant! There needs to be more young people like him,” said 25-year-old minister Syed Saddiq on Twitter.

“This is Malaysia’s golden boy, keep up your good work bro,” wrote one admirer on Facebook.

“Congratulations brother, when you grow up you will be an asset to the country,” wrote another.

“Bravo and congratulations. You have become the pride of Malaysians and the world. We pray for your success and wellness,” was another entry.

Want to read more about Thaqif?

> Shop accidentally deletes game built by 12-year-old boy

> Internet cafe accidentally deletes computer game a boy, 12, had spent a year developing in Malaysia

> Malaysian boy, 12, a national hero after building an e-sports game at a cybercafe and trying to sell it for US$0.25 to help his mother