Sabah Wanita MCA: Deputy Minister should be ashamed for picking on ‘Treetop Girl’ Veveonah

  • Nation
  • Friday, 04 Sep 2020

PETALING JAYA: Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin should be ashamed for picking on Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin, says Sabah Wanita MCA.

Its chairman Dr Pamela Yong said he should not have even contemplated picking on Veveonah, who is less than half his age, but that he should be the better man and own up to the fact that Internet coverage is lacking in Sabah.

Dr Yong also issued a challenge of sorts to Zahidi to go on the ground in Sabah and witness for himself the state of Internet connectivity there.

"He should be ashamed for picking on Veveonah, a young teenager with such an innovative approach to highlighting issues to the government.

"My take is, exams or no exams, that is secondary.

"I am more ashamed that our learned Deputy Minister cannot see her true purpose which is to highlight the poor digital infrastructure and interconnectivity in Sabah," said Dr Yong in a statement Friday (Sept 4).

In June, 18-year-old Veveonah went viral after posting a YouTube video of herself spending the night up a tree to get better Internet access for her to take her exams. She became known as the “Treetop Girl”.

The viral video prompted the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to say it will work towards improving Internet coverage in her area at Kampung Sapatalang in Pitas, Sabah.

However on Thursday (Sept 3), Zahidi said in the Dewan Negara that Veveonah was a YouTuber who merely wanted to gain fame and claimed that she was not sitting for any examination at the time she uploaded her video.

Many Malaysians on social media, including some of her classmates, argued otherwise, saying that there were exams being conducted at the time.

Later Thursday (Sept 3), Zahidi claimed he had received inaccurate information about Veveonah's exam and apologised to her, saying that he will make a correction in the Dewan Negara next Monday (Sept 7).

Dr Yong said while Zahidi had subsequently apologised to Veveonah that same night, the crux of the matter still stood.

"It is not for him to chastise the people's grouses no matter in what form or manner they were presented," she said.

She added that Zahidi would have done much better by going into Kampung Sapatalang and spending a few days there, or even perhaps climbing a tree to experience the issue Veveonah highlighted.

"Turun padang (go to the ground) 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," said Dr Yong.

She said there is no denying there are still many areas in Sabah with no connectivity, while calling on Malaysians to give Veveonah their support.

Veveonah had on Thursday night (Sept 3) said she was sad and disappointed over Zahidi’s mistake.

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