Hands up time, guys – who here is guilty of having taken their parents for granted at some point in their lives? National oil giant Petronas aims to tug the heartstrings of all of you with its new ad campaign for the Chinese New Year, titled Rubber Boy.

The five-minute Mandarin-language online film (a 90-second cut will be aired on TV from tomorrow) follows the tale of a young boy, who says that he deserves to be slapped by his rubber tapper mother. Not something you would expect a proud, self-centred child of his age to mutter, sure, but there’s a reason for that.

We are then transported to the events of the previous day, where the boy is sent to his school by his mother on an old motorcycle. At a red light he comes across a pretty girl ensconced in the comfort of a Volvo 240, and he turns away, embarrassed for being poor – before it starts to rain. He arrives to class soaking wet, where he is bullied by his classmates and called “rubber boy,” and he proceeds to fight them.

At the end of the day, the boy comes home battered, bruised and ashamed, and his mother confronts him for his actions. In a fit of rage, he yells at her for being responsible for them being poor, and insists that she works harder so that they can be rich.

Right now, a lesser soul would have scolded the boy for being ungrateful, but the mother simply tells her son to work with her at the estate for one day to see how hard it was for her to earn money. He shows up the next day, ready to rough it out, and initially gives his mother the cold shoulder – but softens up when he realises that working hard was what his mother had been doing for his sake her entire life.

Heartbroken, the boy goes up to his mother and asks to help her tap rubber, when she gives him the “slap” – which, as it turns out, was merely to catch a mosquito. Humbled, he apologises, and his mother tells him not to help her out, only to study hard. On the way back he encounters the same girl in the Volvo, now upset sitting behind her bickering parents, and the boy finally learns to be blessed with what he has.

“Petronas is proud to be able to bring this warm, enduring story that resonates in the hearts of all Malaysians,” said Petronas senior general manager of group strategic communications Zahariah Abdul Rahman. “Malaysians are uniquely known for our common values of togetherness amongst different generations, forgiveness for family and friends and prudence in conducting personal lives.”

So, watch the video above, and tell us what you think in the comments section after the jump. Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!