KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should remove Umno’s Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin as a deputy minister over the latter’s false claim against Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin, said Lim Kit Siang
Iskandar Puteri MP said the deputy communications and multimedia minister’s “shocking incompetence” has undermined the government by exposing it to ridicule.
“Zahidi will be getting away too easily for his grave and shameful faux pas if he is just allowed to apologise and move on.
“He said in the Senate yesterday morning that he had checked and found that Veveonah Mosibin of Kampung Sapatalang in Pitas, Sabah had pretended to take a university exam on a tree to popularise her YouTube channel, but later the same night, Zahidi said he would like to correct the statement that she did not sit for any exam.
“Zahidi had made a grave error which is not correctable,” he said in a statement today.
Lim questioned the authenticity of the check Zahidi said his officers performed about Veveonah and her YouTube video in June, which showed her taking her university examinations atop a tree near her home in Sabah as that was among the few places she could reliably connect to the Internet.
The DAP leader pointed out that even Muhyiddin had acknowledged her experience when he remarked on it during a town hall with civil servants in Johor last month.
He then suggested that Zahidi may have misled the Senate with the claim, which he said would be cause for him to be referred to the Senate’s Committee of Privileges.
Just hours after claiming in the Senate yesterday that Veveonah did not take any examinations and suggesting that she faked the incident for YouTube views, Zahidi retracted his allegation and asserted that he had been misinformed.
He apologised to her and affirmed that he would issue a correction in the Senate on Monday.
Veveonah already rejected his claim before that and revealed that Zahidi’s false allegation led to her coming under unwarranted attacks online.
In June, Veveonah posted a video to her YouTube channel showing viewers how she spent 24 hours on top of a tree in the jungle as that was the only way she could reliably connect to the internet and sit for her Chemistry and Malaysian Studies tests then.
She became an overnight sensation after she posted the video showing her climbing a tree to get a better internet connection so she could sit for her online exams smoothly.
Her YouTube video spurred the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to devise plans for a telecommunications tower in Kampung Bilangau Kecil, Pitas, which will give Veveonah and her fellow villagers improved internet access.