KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) has suspended a diploma graduate for two years for “humiliating” the university by taking a selfie with the pro chancellor on stage while receiving his certificate.
Local daily Harian Metro reported today the public university’s Deputy Chancellor Tan Sri Prof Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar as saying that the student was rude and ignorant of Malay customs.
“His actions humiliated UiTM,” Sahol told the Malay-language daily yesterday.
“Students were briefed on the guidelines before entering the hall, including a warning against taking selfies on stage. He should have respected the ceremony and the lecturers. This is an important custom that is under the spotlight,” he added.
Muhammad Hasrul Haris Mohd Radzi, the student who received a diploma in photography from UiTM Lendu, Malacca, apologised and said he “couldn’t control his excitement” after receiving the certificate, the newspaper reported.
The 21-year-old’s self portrait with Pro Chancellor Tan Sri Dr Arshad Ayub, with students in the background at UiTM’s 82nd convocation, has since gone viral.
Harian Metro did not report when the selfie was taken, but UiTM’s website lists May 13 and May 14 as the dates of the convocation in Malacca.
“I don’t think it’s wrong of me to ‘capture’ this historical moment after working hard in the last two and a half years to get this diploma,” Muhammad Hasrul Haris was quoted as saying by the daily.
He added that he was unaware of the selfie ban by the university.
Sahol reportedly said this was the second incident and that the university had also taken the same action against another student.
“I hope this case will be a lesson to all students so that the same incident that has tainted UiTM’s name will not happen again,” he said.
When asked if the suspension was too harsh, he said: “Let them call me cruel, but I’d rather let a child die, than lose our customs (Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat).”