KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Wanita MCA Sabah Chairperson Dr Pamela Yong today said it was not up to Communications and Multimedia deputy minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin to chastise people’s grouses no matter what form or manner that it was presented.
She was commenting on Zahidi's blunder where he apologised to Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin after he alleged she pretended to have taken a university exam on a treetop to popularise her YouTube channel.
“Even if the complaint was written on a toilet paper, it is still his duty and responsibility to look into it and make it better,” she said in a statement.
Yong said Zahidi ought to be ashamed at picking on Veveonah a student of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) who used an innovative approach to highlight issues to the government.
“My take is, exams or no exams, that is secondary. I am more ashamed that our learned minister cannot see her true purpose which is highlighting the poor digital infrastructure and interconnectivity in Sabah.
“Minister, would the government have taken action if Veveonah had walked into any Internet service company to complain? Would that filed complaint have even reached your office at the Communications and Multimedia Ministry?” she asked.
Yong added that had Veveonah filed an official complaint with the ministry, it would likely not have resulted in the installation of a telecommunications tower near her home.
“There is no denying that there are still many areas in Sabah with no connectivity. Datuk Zahidi should not have even contemplated picking on someone less than half his age and instead should have owned up to the fact that coverage is lacking in Sabah.
“Otherwise why would Veveonah's posting spur MCMC to take action in Kampung Bilangau Kecil, Pitas?” she said.
Yong said Zahidi could have done much better by going into Kampung Sapatalang and spent a few days there to really experience the issue that Veveonah had highlighted.
“Turun Padang, Datuk Zahidi, and then tell us all that Sabah is all good with connectivity and not just connecting with the speed of 3G but 4G and LTE while every Sabahan looks towards the rollout of 5G,” she said.
Veveonah first came to public attention in June when she uploaded videos of herself on YouTube taking her university tests on a makeshift tree platform as that was among the few places near her rural home where she could reliably access the Internet.
However, in the Dewan Negara recently, Zahidi claimed Veveonah was lying and only uploaded the videos on YouTube to boost her image. He later issued an apology, saying he had been misled by “inaccurate information”.
On her part, the UMS student expressed her hurt and disappointment in being called a liar by the minister.