Student suspended by Malaysian university for taking onstage graduation selfie

A student at NUS taking a selfie on July 7, 2014. A Malaysian photography student from Universiti Teknologi Mara was suspended after he took a selfie onstage during his graduation ceremony. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A student at NUS taking a selfie on July 7, 2014. A Malaysian photography student from Universiti Teknologi Mara was suspended after he took a selfie onstage during his graduation ceremony. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

PETALING JAYA (The Star/Asia News Network) - A student from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) has apologised after he was suspended for taking a selfie on stage during his graduation ceremony.

The photography student from UiTM Lendu, Malacca, Muhammad Hasrul Haris Mohd Radzi, 21, whipped out his mobile phone and snapped a selfie after receiving his diploma from UiTM pro-chancellor Tan Sri Dr Arshad Ayub on stage during the varsity's 82nd convocation.

The picture went viral on social media and received widespread criticism with many saying the act was disrespectful.

Muhammad Hasrul, however, claimed that he did not know that taking a selfie was not allowed.

He told a local Malay daily on Saturday that he was sorry for taking the picture but could not control his excitement after receiving his diploma.

"I thought what was the harm in recording this moment after working hard for two years in getting my diploma," he said.

Muhammad Hasrul said he got the idea to take a selfie when he witnessed a student performed a dance on stage during a convocation at a different university.

"I thought it would be appropriate for a photography student like me to make a symbolic gesture in taking a selfie.

"I really did not know that it was not allowed, and no one told me," he added.

According to the daily, UiTM vice-chancellor Tan Sri Prof Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar confirmed that Muhammad Hasrul was suspended.

"His action is disrespectful to UiTM. Students are briefed and given guidelines before entering the hall which includes not taking a selfie on stage," he said.

He added that this was the second time such an incident occurred and the previous student was also punished.

Muhammad Hasrul faces suspension of between one and two years. It is unclear what the suspension may entail since he has graduated.