KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Communications and Multimedia Deputy Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin today apologised in the Dewan Negara for the confusion caused over the internet access problem faced by Universiti Malaysia Sabah student, Veveonah Mosibin.
“I will like to apologise, with the consent of the Senate President I am making this apology in this august assembly for causing confusion in Veveonah’s case. Sorry also because the information from the area’s elected representative led to the dissatisfaction of some people.
“Maybe my opinion has been misinterpreted. In the district and Pitas town there is coverage and an internet centre, but it needs to be improved overall,” he said before winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s royal address, at the Dewan Negara here, today.
He said the issue raised by Veveonah was the lack of internet coverage in Kampung Sipatalang in Pitas, Sabah which requires the government’s attention.
However, as a father, he thought sitting on a tree at night to get internet coverage was an action that could endanger personal safety.
“Even if it is our child, we will advise her not to do that because of fear she might get hurt. But, Veveonah’s attempt to show that there is a lack of internet coverage in rural areas is a commendable struggle.
“I take full responsibility and the government agrees that this is an internet access issue in the interior of Sabah which should be given attention and dealt with as soon as possible,” he said.
Senator Alan Ling Sie Kiong who submitted a motion to refer Zahidi to the Dewan Negara Rights and Freedom Committee in this morning’s session then intervened and thanked the deputy minister for being present this afternoon.
“I am grateful and thankful that the deputy minister was present this afternoon and took the opportunity in this august hall to apologise. This is indeed welcome. I have no problem with the deputy minister,” he said.
He said he acted on the basis of defending the integrity of the Senate and hoped it would not happen again.
Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Rais Yatim later expressed his satisfaction with the seriousness and sincerity of the apology made by Zahidi, thus not having to refer the deputy minister to the Dewan Negara Rights and Freedom Committee.
“The deputy minister’s apology just now which is spontaneous and sincere should be accepted by this august assembly,” he said.