MACHANG: A stage 4 sinus (nasopharyngeal) cancer patient and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) graduate, Abdul Halim Mat Hassan, 26, took the initiative to breed rabbits on a small scale to pay off the study loan he received from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN).
The Bachelor of Heritage Studies (Hons) degree holder has been raising rabbits in the past two years to generate income as his poor health made it difficult for him to secure regular employment in the public or private sectors.
“Breeding rabbits although not in large quantities could at least provide me with some sustenance as I intend to pay off the study loan so long as my health permits and to support myself,” he told reporters who visited him at his home in Kampung Kok Kiak Baka here today.
Abdul Halim explained he had already written an appeal for loan repayment exemption amounting to RM26,000 last year but has yet to receive any response.
At first, the seventh of ten siblings said, he only raised three rabbits as pets to entertain and occupy his time. After a while, a good friend gave him eight rabbits so that he could breed them for their meat.
“Over the past two years, I have sold over 200 rabbits to customers around this town, priced at RM30 for two rabbits depending on the size.
“Currently, I only have 16 rabbits left including seven bunnies aged three weeks old. However, my health has deteriorated and so my parents, Mat Hasan Hamad, 62, and Mariah Ismail, 60, are helping to care for the rabbits,” he said.
He is also receiving RM250 monthly assistance from the Social Welfare Department.
Abdul Halim said he was diagnosed with sinus cancer in October 2017 and had undergone seven rounds of chemotherapy and 36 sessions of radiotherapy to kill the cancer cells.
“Currently, I can only eat soft food such as Nestum and blended plain rice with mustard to survive.
“The tube in my neck needs to be replaced every six months at a cost of about RM200,” he said.
Earlier, Bernama had reported on a mini-convocation was held at his home for him by the university in December last year.
Those who wish to help Abdul Halim could send donations to his Bank Islam account number 03045022358713 or call him at +60 11-1782 4285. – Bernama