Penang schoolgirl rushes to mum’s grave to read out UPSR exam results

Melanie Chalil
Nur Aqilah Afiah Muhammad Firdaus refused to open the envelope that contained her results until she reached her mother’s grave. — Picture from Facebook/Aishah Mat Akat

PETALING JAYA, Nov 22 — Receiving her Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) results was a moment Nur Aqilah Afiah Muhammad Firdaus would have loved to share with her mother who passed away two years ago.

The Standard Six student from Sekolah Kebangsaan Permatang To’ Kandu in Permatang Pauh, Penang went to her mum’s grave to read out what she scored on each subject.

The poignant story was shared by Aqilah’s grandmother Aishah Mat Akat via Facebook in a now-viral post.

In an interview with mStar, Aishah said her granddaughter was usually a cheerful person but was overcome with emotions when she received her exam results.

Aqilah had asked her grandmother to accompany her to school to collect the results.

Aqilah lost her mum, Ariani, who died two years ago while she was giving birth to her third child. — Picture from Facebook/Aishah Mat Akat

“She said ‘Grandma, come to school to replace mama. If you don’t come with me, my friends will have their mums with them and I don’t have a mum to accompany me’,” the 63-year-old said.

But what shocked her the most was when her eldest grandchild refused to open the envelope which contained the results.

Instead, Aqilah asked her grandmother to take her to the Permatang Pauh Muslim cemetery located in front of the school to visit her late mother.

At that point, Aishah had already known her granddaughter’s scores via the hotline.

“She said she isn’t strong. She wanted to share her results with her late mum.

Aqilah’s grandmother Aishah described her granddaughter as a cheerful and responsible girl. — Picture from Facebook/Aishah Mat Akat

“Aqilah said she feels her mother’s presence each time she goes to the grave,” said Aishah.

Aqilah’s late mother Ariani Amir died in November 2017 at the age of 35 while giving birth to her third child.

The eldest of three siblings now lives under the care of her grandmother.

When she got to her mother’s grave the primary school student recited what she received for each subject in front of her mother’s tombstone.

“While holding the results slip, Aqilah said what she got for each subject and she was crying despite trying to hold back tears.

“I just kept quiet to let her do what she needed to do. She always speaks to her mum while praying at her grave. She doesn’t say a word, you can just hear her sobbing,” said Aishah.

Aishah, a former headmistress said her granddaughter would visit the graveyard every week since her mother’s passing.

She described her grandchild as a responsible person, a quality she inherited from her mother.

“She has taken over the duty of caring for her siblings,” said Aishah.

Hopeful that Aqilah will come to terms with her mother’s death, Aishah often tells her granddaughter to study hard to become successful.

“However, her mum’s Singapore-style bee hoon is something Aqilah and the family can never forget,” said Aishah.

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