Woman inspired by dad’s last words

Proud achievement: Norhidayu posing with her doctorate at UPM’s 46th convocation ceremony. — Bernama

SERDANG: “Adik, knowledge is everywhere. Don’t ever feel tired or bored in your quest for knowledge.”

Those were the last words of Dr Norhidayu Hassan’s beloved father, who did not get to witness the graduation of his youngest child at the 46th convocation of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) here yesterday.

He died of heart failure when she was in her first year of the Language and Malay Linguistic course.

“My father passed away so suddenly. I became mentally disturbed; it was as if I had lost my wings. I lost my will to continue with the PhD study and I almost gave up,” she told Bernama.

But the gritty girl from Jerantut in Pahang eventually picked herself up.

Norhidayu went back to UPM to present her PhD proposal paper.

“I also made myself busy by selling nasi lemak and became a content writer while pursuing my PhD,” said the daughter of a lorry driver and a canteen operator.

Norhidayu, 29, said even though she was sad, she still felt proud of her achievement, dedicating her success to her late father and family.

Earlier, the Raja Muda of Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who is also UPM pro-chancellor, awarded degrees to 836 graduates at the ceremony.

Another PhD recipient, Dr Nur Widad Roslan, 28, said she looked to her mother, Prof Dr Normaliza Abd Rahim, for inspiration to further her studies.

The mother of three said apart from her mother, her husband had been her backbone by helping to manage the household.

“Many times I just wanted to give up, especially during the movement control order. My third child was still a baby while my two other children had to follow online lessons from home.

“At the same time, I was working as a lecturer while at night I had to complete my PhD assignments because that was the only time available.

My husband was very helpful and understanding,” said the lecturer at the Kuala Lumpur Infrastructure University. — Bernama

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