Congrats Veveonah – from tree-top girl to a UMS scholarship student and to dinner with the Prime Minister, but has Muhyiddin promised faster action to close the digital divide in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia?

Congrats to plucky 18-year-old lass from Pitas, from tree-top girl to a Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) scholarship student and to dinner with the Prime Minister.

But has Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin promised faster action and more money to close the digital divide in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia so that no Malaysian youth need to emulate her feat of spending 24 hours on a tree top to sit for an online examination to get better Internet connectivity?

The Veveonah episode is a proper curtain-raiser for the 2020 Sabah state general election, for it encapsulates the miserable plight of the people of Sabah half a century after the formation of Malaysia – why Sabahans are so poor and backward in socio-economic infrastructure and development when Sabah is one of the richest states in the country!

Veveonah’s pluck and grit, and the adoration of netizens with her Youtube on top of the tree top for 24 hours to sit for the online examination viewed over 810,000 times, must be the inspiration for the youths of this nation.

Veveonah has rightly earned national and even international attention, but Sabahans and Malaysians are disappointed that the Prime Minister and the federal cabinet have not acted on Veveonah’s YouTube to announce a special programme to close the digital divide in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

Even more disappointing, the two deputy ministers who have publicly called Veveonah a liar for falsely claiming to have stayed on a treetop for 24 hours for an online examination have escaped punishment for their grave bloopers – one deputy minister escaped with a light tap on the wrist by apologising in the Senate while the other deputy minister and MP for Kudat escaped completely.

Muhyddin dares not discipline the two deputy ministers for the simple reason that he may lose his office as Prime Minister, as would happen if his “Sheraton Move” backdoor government – a government on stilts – is toppled as a result.

It is precisely because the present government is a government on stilts that the Prime Minister is the weakest in the nation history, where Ministers dare not discipline their deputy ministers because they are from a different party, and where the Prime Minister dares not discipline deputy ministers for the survival of his government is at stake.

Muhyddin can try to placate one Veveonah Mosibin but what Veveonah want and the larger public want is the resolution of the problems faced by the Veveonahs all over the country – the grave digital disparity in the country.

Is Muhyiddin prepared to give an answer?

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Monday, 14th September 2020