Veveonah’s brother slams politicians over her public humiliation

Tree top girl Veveonah’s elder brother comes to her defence, as university confirms she sat for exam at the prescribed time.

KOTA KINABALU: Stunned by her public humiliation at the hands of politicians, an elder brother of Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin today called them out on their baseless accusations.

Mekvin Mosibin, 26, from Kampung Sapatalang in Sabah’s northern Pitas district, also did not pull any punches when coming to his sister’s defence.

“She is really hurt. Who wouldn’t be if you know you’re right and people still (falsely) accuse you.

“But she is keeping it together. What else can she do than just try to be patient,” he told FMT.

Mekvin claimed that Kudat MP Abdul Rahim Bakri had obtained “inaccurate and wrong” information about where his family was staying.

“Rahim had obtained the information from his officer, who himself was wrongly briefed about the details by the village head of Kampung Sapatalang, which is our birthplace,” he said.

Kampung Sapatalang is in Sabah’s northern Pitas district.

According to Mekvin, though the family stayed in Pitas town due to his father working with the Rural Development Corporation (KPD), they drive home frequently because it is only 30 minutes away.

“Besides going back to Sapatalang, which is our father’s village, we also go back to our mother’s village of Kampung Solimpodon which is nearby,” he told FMT.

“Our old house in Sapatalang has collapsed because it was run down but our eldest brother has a new house that is still under construction there,” said Mekvin, the second of five siblings, with Veveonah being the youngest.

He added that the family are now temporarily occupying a house that used to be a church, which is located not far from the brother’s new house.

“This is where Veveonah will usually stay too. So what the minister and the village chief claimed about us not having a house (or staying) in Sapatalang is not true.”

Rahim, who is deputy finance minister, had yesterday claimed in a Facebook posting that Veveonah had faked a post on YouTube about taking an online university examination, saying she lives in town and no longer lives in the village where she said she had to climbed a tree to get a better internet connection to sit for the exam.

He also accused Veveonah of deliberately creating a “drama”, to seek attention and publicity, claiming Veveonah’s parents were no longer living in Sapatalang because her father Mosibin Maraun Makrun worked in Pitas town.

Rahim said he received this piece of information after asking his officer Ambang Sobul who is from Kampung Bilangau Kecil and lives next to Kampung Sapatalang to investigate.

“In actual fact, she (Veveonah) does not have a house in Kampung Sapatalang, so how can this student claim that she studied on a tree in the village when she actually lives in town?” Rahim had said in a Facebook post.

Malaysians lambasted Rahim for the accusation, labelling him a “bully” and a person of “low IQ”, prompting the latter to subsequently delete the post.

Mekvin, who has been working in Kuala Lumpur as a cook for four years now, also took exception to Rahim’s accusation that his sister had faked sitting for the exam.

“It is bad enough that the deputy minister did not check the information he obtained from the village chief but for him to accuse my sister of such?

“She is a student at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and the lecturers know about this exam. And there was a timetable too,” he said.

He said because of the poor internet reception in the area, Veveonah decided to use the makeshift huts in the trees near to their brother’s temporary house to access the exam online.

Meanwhile, UMS board of directors chairman Masidi Manjun tweeted today that Veveonah had in fact sat for the online exam.

“After meeting the vice-chancellor and the UMS Asasi Sains centre director today, I would like to confirm that Veveonah sat for her final semester exam online from June 9 to June 12,” he said on Twitter.

Veveonah was propelled to fame recently after having posted a video on her YouTube channel three months ago about her spending 24 hours up a tree in the jungle in order to get the best internet connection so that she could sit for her exams online.

Mekvin said his sister never intended for the video to go viral nor did she or any of the family members want anything out of it.

“She just wanted to share her experience to learn with limited internet connection and how life is in our village, that is all. It’s sad and hurtful that certain people chose to target her instead,” he said.

Rahim’s claims come after Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin had told the Dewan Negara last week in reply to a question from an MP, that the girl had not actually sat for the exams and that she had shared the video just to garner views for her YouTube channel.

Shortly after, Zahidi had issued an apology to Veveonah, saying he had received “inaccurate information” on the matter.