It all began when a freelance photographer posted a photo of an MRT construction worker he came across on Twitter
The portrait depicted a young man with a straight face, staring into the camera with his piercing green eyes.
Abeden Mung's tweet has garnered more than 24,000 retweets and 68,000 likes at the time of writing.
With a chiselled jawline, full lips, and glowing skin, Twitter users were quick to point out that the man could easily pass off as a professional model
Since his photo was receiving attention, Mung revealed how the portrait came about in a Twitter thread
"He is an MRT construction worker at the site near Jalan Ipoh, near where I have breakfast each day," the freelance photographer wrote, explaining that he first met him when he was doing a vlog.
Despite his picture perfect face, Mung shared that the man was "shy" and "didn't really know where to look at" when he was being photographed.
"Again and again, I pointed at the camera on my phone but the shots were just not right until he looked straight into the lens and started sweating a bit," he said.
"Then I got this. Isn't he beautiful?"
Despite the fact that most responded to the viral photo by praising the man's beauty, the photographer shared the ugly side of the Internet
He compiled screenshots of harsh comments from Malaysian Facebook users who instead invoked the stereotype of foreign workers having bad body odour.
Appalled at the superiority complex displayed by some, several netizens came to the construction worker's defence.
"I looked at your post and that didn't even occur to me. What I was impressed by was that it was a beautiful photo. When your heart is ugly like that... sometimes they forget to look in the mirror," one netizen wrote.