The deputy minister who started the online fracas surrounding Veveonah Mosibin’s exams is under scrutiny over his own educational background.
Days after Zahidi Zainul Abidin, 59, from the Communications and Multimedia Ministry falsely accused the popular YouTuber in Parliament of lying about taking exams in a tree, hundreds are now throwing a spotlight on his academic qualifications and calling them into question.
“At this rate, I don’t even know if he passed his SPM (high school exams),” @Ruffleseed wrote in a tweet that included screenshots of the minister’s qualifications.
Details of Zahidi’s qualifications are being shared by hundreds online, accusing the minister of purportedly “buying” from degree mills and saying that he should be sacked from the government position because of it.
Among the things people were doubtful about was that the university where Zahidi had his “Masters in Business Administration” did not seem to exist. There is no such thing as Northern California Global University on the internet but the name was linked to a bogus university degree scam in 2005.
An Indonesian news report that year detailed the arrest of 12 people who bought fake degree certificates from “Northern California Global University.” Meanwhile, an institution with a similar name located in Missouri, U.S., is dedicated to studies on Christianity.
An annual report by the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority also stated that Zahidi had a political science degree from the International Irish University, which was exposed in another bogus degree scam in 2008 for offering “sub-standard and worthless degrees” for sale.
Zahidi has not responded to Coconuts KL’s request for comment via email earlier today.
On Monday, Zahidi’s aide said that the deputy minister’s highest qualification was a diploma from a local institution and denied that he ever graduated from foreign universities.
“In Zahidi’s profile which was distributed to the media in April, his highest academic accreditation depicted is a diploma in public administration from the Mara Technological Institute,” the Malay Mail quoted the unnamed individual as saying.
Zahidi on Friday falsely accused Veveonah of lying about her exams and was later backed by Kudat MP Abdul Rahim Bakri, who said that Zahidi had gotten the details from him.
Both have not acknowledged the misinformation but Abdul Rahim has since removed his online statement that supported Zahidi and insisted that Veveona did not take exams in a tree.
University Malaysia Sabah yesterday confirmed that 18-year-old Veveonah did sit for the exams when she filmed 24 Hours On A Tree Challenge.
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