GEORGE TOWN: Ashri Haya, 50, - the "mysterious" motorcyclist who came to the aid of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) graduate R. Kevin received a special invitation from USM to attend the last day of its 59th convocation ceremony.
Ashri, who gave Kevin a ride to his convocation ceremony on May 24 was also invited to meet the university's top management.
The management took the opportunity to express their heartfelt appreciation to the cleaning services contractor for his kind deed.
Ashri said he was touched by the recognition and did not expect his little help would mean a lot to so many people.
Recalling that fateful May 24, Ashri said he happened to be travelling on the Penang Bridge at the same time with Kevin and many others on his way to work on the island.
"Coincidentally, I am supervising the cleaning works here at USM.
"I saw the graduate was in desperate need of help as he did not stop flagging down motorcyclists (to hitch a ride to USM for his convocation ceremony).
"(Because) I saw him holding his graduation robe, similar to USM's robe, I gave him a lift as I understood how stressed he must have felt then," he said.
Ashri recalled how bad the traffic was that particular morning due to a fatal crash, and he saw some motorists having breakfast inside their cars while others alighted for some fresh air.
Ashri said he did not expect his story to go viral.
"I continued with my work after dropping the graduate off.
"Until the following day, my colleague showed me my news which was widely reported in the media," he added.
On May 24, USM, via its Facebook page, had posted how Kevin, 28, was in danger of missing his convocation ceremony after his car was stuck on the Penang Bridge following a massive jam.
However, a passing motorcyclist offered Kevin a ride, and he made it in time for the event.
The post garnered more than 3,200 likes in just two hours, with over 130 comments and over 220 shares.
Many netizens had then questioned the identity of the motorcyclist and hailed him as a hero.
Kevin received a Master of Business Administration.
Meanwhile, USM Vice Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan said USM appreciated Ashri's good deed in helping the graduate and said such noble values should be instilled in every individual.
"Although his gesture seems small, his willingness to offer assistance at a time when another is in need, should be emulated by others," he added.
USM registrar, who is also USM's 59th convocation ceremony working committee chairman, Datuk Dr Musa Ali also expressed his appreciation and said the care and concern shown by Ashri had made an impact on society.