KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri has deleted his Facebook post criticising university student Veveonah Mosibin and accusing her of faking her online examination woes.
The post on Monday (Sept 7) evening had alleged that the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) student, who gained social media fame after posting a video on YouTube of her climbing a tree to get an Internet connection, had dramatised the issue for the sake of publicity.
The post garnered thousands of comments within a few hours, most of which called for his resignation for what was described as bullying the young university student.
Rahim had claimed that there was no final exam held online by UMS during that time, and it was just a “normal online lecture”, saying he got the information from a lecturer, whom he did not name.
He said he had also instructed his officer to get details on Veveonah’s family background and living conditions, and found out that she had been living in a town at the time, not their village.
“So what I don’t understand here is how can she claim that she lives in Kg Sapatalang when they don’t even have a house there?” he said in his FB post.
When she first came to fame in June, Veveonah had already explained that they were living with relatives while waiting for their house to be rebuilt.
She had chosen to stay in the village to help her parents on their farm, as they were not working due to the movement control order (MCO) imposed since March to combat the Covid-10 pandemic.
Rahim’s post came after Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin had earlier Monday named him as his source for telling the Dewan Negara last Friday (Sept 4) that Veveonah did not have exams on the day she uploaded her treetop video and was merely trying to garner YouTube views.
When that news broke on Sept 4, a few students posted on social media saying that they were her course-mates and they were indeed having examinations that time in June.
This led to Zahidi posting an apology on Facebook, saying that he had been given the wrong information and would clear the air with the Dewan Negara on Monday.
Instead, he held a press conference outside the Dewan Negara, in which he named Rahim as the source of his information.
Veveonah, for her part, has not been contactable since her last video was uploaded about a week ago.