KUALA NERUS, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) graduate Haslina Kalang had to deal with both joy and sorrow during her convocation ceremony after receiving news that her father had died just 15 minutes before going up on stage to receive her scroll during UniSZA’s 15th convocation ceremony today.

Fighting back her tears, Haslina, 23, steeled herself and with the support from her elder sister and fellow coursemates, she managed to get through the day.

The Tawau native related to Bernama later that she was rather unwilling to attend the convocation ceremony as her father, Kalang Toba, 56, had been bedridden after suffering a stroke.

She ended up attending after he insisted she attend as she had invested three long years in her studies.

“I really had a heavy heart and didn’t want to come for the convocation as my dad wasn’t doing well. But he was adamant and told me he wanted to see me on stage in my convocation robes.

“I didn’t stop praying that he would be well enough and I would be able to go back to show him some photos at least, but Allah loves him more,” she shared when met at the convocation ceremony here today.

Even though Haslina was unable to be at her father’s side during his last moments, she consoled herself in the satisfaction of knowing that she had spent time looking after him after she completed her studies.

"I chose not to work after finishing my studies because I wanted to take care of him. Alhamdulillah, I did manage to do my duty as a child,” she added.

The UniSZA management has donated RM2,500 in cash to Haslina as a sign of sympathy and moral support.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency