Asia Malaysia Promising Malaysian scholar at Imperial College found dead in London lake

Promising Malaysian scholar at Imperial College found dead in London lake

The 24-year-old had been an aspiring chemist and had been granted Malaysia’s highly-coveted Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA or Public Service Department) sponsorship.

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

London — The spring term has just ended, exams are over, and now students of London’s Imperial College have cause for celebration. A whole month of spring holidays is theirs enjoy before summer term starts.

What no one would have expected would be bleakness; the mysterious death of a promising Malaysian student of one of the world’s top universities and on the cusp of a bright career.

Police discovered the body of Muhammad Hafiz Zainal floating in The Serpentine, Hyde Park, in the early morning of Mar 25, after having received a phone call alerting them of a person in the lake waters. Paramedics attempted to revive Muhammad Hafiz but it was too late.

The 24-year-old had been an aspiring chemist on Malaysia’s highly-coveted Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA or Public Service Department) sponsorship. The JPA’s prestigious scholarship program, the Program Penajaan Nasional, is only granted to students who have gained entry into the UK’s or US’ top 20 universities based on the QS World University Rankings.

- Advertisement -

He had been studying chemistry in Imperial College London since 2015.

Muhammad Hafiz was the youngest of three children and the son of associate editor, and political writer Zainal Epi of the Malaysian English-language daily Malay Mail.

Authorities refuse to provide additional information about his cause of death since investigations are ongoing.

The youth’s family, with assistance from the Malaysian Embassy in London, are en route to London for the final arrangements. A bereaved Zainal Epi mentioned that he had visited his son just last Sept.

For many, Muhammad Hafiz’s tragic death is a stark reminder of how life as a student overseas can be a huge challenge, even as spring holidays roll around. International students often have to manage physical safety risks in unfamiliar places and face a culture shock plus homesickness. There also exists the never-ending pressure to perform well in academics — to meet and exceed expectations of family, friends, and mentors — as well as the reality of bullying, and racial micro-aggression.

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Man attacks teen, calls him a virus, damages his phone

Singapore—A sudden attack took a teen by surprise when one man started yelling at him, physically harming him, and throwing his phone into a nearby drain at around 10.30pm on Tuesday (Feb 23) on a section of the road near the...

3 migrant workers die after 10 injured in Tuas industrial building blast

Singapore – Three of the 10 workers injured in an explosion at an industrial building in Tuas on Wednesday (Feb 24) died on Thursday. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to a fire at No. 32E Tuas Avenue 11 at around...

Film producer says Myanmar maid called her family, wanting to go home, two weeks before she died

A video producer who visited the family of Piang Ngaih Don, the Myanmar maid beaten and starved to death by her employers in 2016, says Ms Piang somehow managed to call her family just two weeks before she died. She told...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent