Putrajaya to look into internet connectivity in rural areas

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Cabinet has pledged to improve Internet connectivity in rural areas, following the case of a from Sabah who resorted to sitting on a tree to take her examinations.

The student, Ms Veveonah Mosibin, became an Internet sensation after she posted videos of herself spending time up a tree to get Internet access to study and take her chemistry and Malaysia studies examinations in June.

In the video, the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) student showed how she brought rice, water, stationery and a mosquito net up the tree and found a suitable spot to take her examination.

She spent the entire night on the tree and only returned home the following day.

Tweeting on the issue on Wednesday (Sep 9), Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin said that the Cabinet has agreed to look into the issues raised by Ms Veveonah over poor Internet connectivity in rural areas.

Mr Khairy wrote: “This morning, the Cabinet discussed issues brought up by Veveonah. The Cabinet has taken note of the disparaging and unreasonable statements issued by the two deputy ministers.

“The Cabinet agreed that the real issue is Internet connectivity and basic infrastructure particularly in the rural areas. The government will try its best to fix them.”

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin and Deputy Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri have both come under fire for their recent remarks on Ms Veveonah.

According to local media reports, Mr Zahidi alleged in the Senate that Ms Veveonah did not sit for any university examinations as portrayed in her YouTube video that went viral.

The United Malays National Organisation MP has since apologised and retracted his allegations. He claimed that he obtained the information from Mr Abdul Rahim.

Mr Abdul Rahim, who is a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia MP for Kudat, initially claimed in a Facebook post that he had sent an officer to investigate Ms Veveonah’s case and found that the student did not take any examinations in June and no longer lived in the village. The post has since been taken down.

On Tuesday, UMS confirmed that Ms Veveonah sat for her final semester examinations via the Internet from Jun 9 to Jun 12.

UMS board of directors chairman Masidi Manjun also said that Ms Veveonah was an exemplary student and will be continuing her marine science degree studies in the university.

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