Malaysian University Graduate Tears Up During Convocation After Receiving News Of Father’s Death
The pain of losing a parent is immeasurable, and even more so when one is not by their side when it happens.
For one Malaysian woman, she was not only absent for her father’s death but received the news during what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of her life — her convocation.
15 minutes before she was about to receive her scroll, she learned that her father had passed away.
As she went on stage, the 23-year-old could hardly hold back her tears. Only, instead of tears of joy, they were tears of sorrow.
Woman was initially reluctant to attend convocation due to father’s health
Initially, 23-year-old Haslina Kalang had been reluctant to attend her convocation due to concerns over her father’s health.
According to a post by Haslina’s alma mater, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Ms Haslina’s father had previously suffered a stroke.
Despite his condition, he was insistent that Ms Haslina attend her convocation. She recalled he wanted her to go on stage and collect her degree.
However, just 15 minutes before she was about to receive her scroll, a neighbour from her hometown of Sabah called to tell her that her father had passed away.
He was only 56 years old.
Ms Haslina, who is the second oldest of five siblings, said she never expected that her father would be gone before she went on stage.
Nonetheless, she tried to put on a strong front to receive her degree, as per his final wish.
University professor gives woman comforting hug as she receives her scroll
In a TikTok video by UniSZA, Ms Haslina was visibly emotional as she waited for her name to be called.
Although it was supposed to be a proud moment, the Bachelor of International Relations (Hons) graduate could only wipe her tears away in an attempt to maintain her composure.
As her name was called and she walked forward, members of the university’s senior management stood up on stage in unison.
They huddled around Ms Haslina with looks of concern, likely aware of what had just transpired.
One of them was Pro-Chancellor Tan Sri Mohd Yusof Noor, who appeared to be asking Ms Haslina about her father.
A few moments later, a female professor enveloped her in a comforting hug.
The touching gesture caused Ms Haslina to break down and weep in the professor’s arms.
University donates RM2,500 to woman to fly home
Since completing her studies, Ms Haslina had been caring for her father full-time and had not sought out employment.
“Praise be to God, I was able to dedicate my time to my father, and I have now come to terms with his passing on my convocation today,” she said at the time.
To attend the convocation, she arrived in Terengganu, where UniSZA is located, two days earlier with her older sister.
She planned to return home to Sabah the next day.
However, upon learning of her father’s death, the institution donated RM2,500 (S$730) to Haslina so she could fly home right after her convocation.
MS News extends our deepest condolences to Ms Haslina and her family. May they find strength and lean on each other during this difficult time.
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