Deputy minister who accused Sabah student Veveonah of lying says info came from Kudat MP

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin today revealed that it was Kudat MP Abdul Rahim Bakri who told him that Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin did not sit for her online exam when she made a video herself climbing up a tree to get internet connectivity.

Online news portal Malaysiakini quoted Zahidi as saying Abdul Rahim got the information from Veneonah’s lecturer.

The Padang Besar MP from Umno, said he believed the matter was true as it came from Abdul Rahim.

“We got the information when we referred to the Kudat MP. The MP for the area is the deputy finance minister.

“We were informed that Veveonah had no exam on that day. The information the MP got was from her lecturer, who is a professor.

“Why would the MP lie? So we just believed in the information provided,” he told a press conference at Parliament.

Zahidi, who previously apologised for accusing Venenoah of lying, said he will be going to the Universiti Malaysia Sabah to meet the lecturer, staff and Venenoah.

“If we find that the information was wrong, we apologise ... the lecturer should not have given incorrect information.

“But if it is the opposite, then perhaps it is a misunderstanding... so the issue should not be politicised,” he said.

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.

Her YouTube video spurred MCMC to devise plans for a telecommunications tower in Kampung Bilangau Kecil, Pitas, which will give Veveonah and her fellow villagers improved internet access.

When the issue was raised in the Dewan Negara on September 3, Zahidi claimed Veveonah did not have any examination on that day and claimed she made the video for fame.

However, Veveonah denied the accusation and shared her examination schedule, which showed she had sat for exams between June 9 and June 12.

Separately, Zahidi also slammed DAP and party veteran Lim Kit Siang for politicising the issue.

He said he is committed to helping rural communities as he came from a family of farmers.

While thanking Venenoah for highlighting the issue, Zahidi said that the government has upgraded internet services in her area.

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