The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has now apologised to 18-year-old Veveonah Mosibin and her parents for the remarks made by two of its deputy ministers, according to Khairy Jamaluddin
Earlier today, 10 September, the Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister took to his official Twitter handle to share that he has personally apologised to the Sabahan student on behalf of the government.
According to Khairy's tweet, he met with Veveonah at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
"I've apologised to her and her parents on behalf of the government"
"Had a meeting with Veveonah at UMS. I have apologised to her and her parents on behalf of the government," read his tweet, that has been retweeted over 3,000 times at the time of this writing.
According to Khairy, he has also proposed that Veveonah come work with Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia so she can help develop innovation projects in environmental conservation at her village.
The formal apology comes after the chairman of the UMS Board of Directors confirmed that the 18-year-old student sat for her final semester exams that took place online from 9 to 12 June 2020
The confirmation was warranted after Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin and Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri had accused Veveonah of lying.
Abdul Rahim, who is also the Kudat Member of Parliament (MP), had insisted that Veveonah faked everything for publicity. The Kudat MP had taken to his Facebook page to shame the 18-year-old student after Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul passed the buck to him.
According to a report in New Straits Times, in his since-deleted post on Facebook, Abdul Rahim said that he stands by his claim that Veveonah had faked her situation in her viral video, in which she is seen resorting to climbing a tree for better Internet access, in her village of Kampung Sepatalang in Pitas, in order to sit for an online exam during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
Veveonah's story about her struggle for better Internet connection for her online exams in June became an issue in September when Zahidi Zainul accused her of lying in Dewan Negara.
According to the Deputy Minister, who was speaking in the Dewan Negara, 18-year-old Veveonah lied about having to sit for online examinations because "she didn't have an exam" and wanted to be popular.
"The girl is a YouTuber. She didn't have an exam, we already checked. Which means she is smart. Therefore, we should not so easily believe YouTubers and people who like to incite issues," he had said.
In the Dewan Negara, Zahidi Zainul was actually being questioned about the status of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), which was supposed to improve mobile coverage in rural areas in Sabah for others like Veveonah. He, for reasons best known to him, brought up Veveonah's story.
Later the same day, Zahidi Zainul offered his apology to the Sabahan student.