Zahidi told to attend Dewan Negara sitting to clarify Veveonah issue

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin should attend the Dewan Negara sitting next week to clarify and apologise for his statement on Universiti Malaysia Sabah student, Veveonah Mosibin.

Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Rais Yatim made the decision after Senator Alan Ling Sie Kiong submitted an urgent motion in accordance with Standing Orders 25 (1) (q) to refer Zahidi to the Dewan Negara Rights and Freedom Committee over his action in giving false answers during the sitting last Thursday.

“After considering the matter thoroughly, we must first agree that he should come to this Dewan and give his views and explanation and apologise to the relevant parties.

“If he refuses to do so, we will refer him to the Rights and Freedom Committee next week. That is my view and I hope it can be recorded as a preliminary decision before the actual de facto directive is brought to the committee, ” he said.

Earlier, Ling told Dewan Negara that he had submitted the motion on Sep-

tember 7 and it would take 14 days before it could be discussed in the sitting.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin during a press conference. PHOTO: BERNAMA

“However, due to the urgency and latest development on this issue, I hope the Dewan would pass this motion.

“The Cabinet discussed the issue and it is true that the student had to sit for her examination on top of a tree due to limited and weak Internet access.

The Cabinet decided that Zahidi’s statement was incorrect and inappropriate.

“He had said he would attend the sitting and apologise but did not do so. This is a serious matter which could slander Veveonah. The arrogance displayed has not only confused but also tarnished the image and integrity of the Dewan,” he said.

According to the agenda of Dewan Negara sitting today, Zahidi is scheduled to answer the 21st question for the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia during the question-and-answer session posed by Senator Adrian Banie Lasimbang on the latest 4G mobile telecommunications system in Sabah.

Upon realising Zahidi was absent to answer the question, Rais then went on with the proceeding and allowed Ling to stand up to submit the motion in accordance with Standing Order 25 (1) (q).