After deputy minister’s false claim sends attacks her way, Sabah student Veveonah says hurt and confused

Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin is seen in this screenshot taken from her YouTube channel. — Picture via YouTube/Veveonah M.
Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin is seen in this screenshot taken from her YouTube channel. — Picture via YouTube/Veveonah M.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin said slurs and criticism against her following a deputy minister’s debunked claim that she faked taking her university examinations atop a tree have pained and dismayed her.

On Facebook, Veveonah said she was taken aback by the negativity hurled against her after Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin wrongly accused her in the Senate today of being a fraud.

Veveonah was previously in the news after she posted YouTube videos of herself taking her university tests on a makeshift tree platform as that was among the few places near her home in rural Sabah where she could reliably access the Internet.

“Honestly, I felt really sad and disappointed with this. I really work hard for my online examination for the last few months. And I never expected it to go viral too. This time, I’m viral again, but with some bad effects. I don’t know how to deal with negative and bad comments on social media.

“It hurts. I do forgive all the mistakes people did to me, but still I need to make this fair statement of myself. Thanks to all that still rooting for me and supporting me. (Family, friends, lecturers and fans),” she said on Facebook.

After Zahidi first made his claim in the Senate, sections of Malaysian Internet users began attacking Veveonah.

Zahidi has retracted his false allegation and purported that he was misinformed.

He also apologised but this was only after Veveonah came under the barrage of unwarranted criticism and denigration.

Some Malaysians have seized on the fact that Zahidi was the deputy communications and multimedia minister to mock him with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC) campaign against sharing fake news, “Tidak pasti, jangan kongsi (Don’t share if you’re not sure)”.

The MCMC is an agency under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.

Still others saw this as yet another incident in which laws appeared to not apply to ministers, comparing it to Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali who was only given a compound for failing to perform his mandatory 14-day Covid-19 quarantine after a quasi-official trip to Turkey in July.

Political rivals of Umno have seized on Zahidi’s remarks to remind Sabahans that their state election will take place soon on September 26.

Umno is attempting to lead a coalition of Opposition parties in the state to regain power.

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