Let Veveonah Mosibin be Malaysia’s Greta Thunberg to inspire youths in Malaysia and the world to spearhead change to eliminate digital poverty – time to empower the millennials in Malaysia
I had suggested that the Federal and Sabah state governments should set up a task force headed by Veveonah Mosibin to immediately conduct a survey in Sabah to ensure that having to spend 24 hours on a tree top or causing the collapse of suspension bridge in the Sabah interior for youths to get better Internet access for their education would be a thing of the past.
I said Malaysia will make world news if the RM81.5 million earmarked for revival of the propaganda unit known as the Special Affairs Department (JASA) in the 2021 Budget is switched to fund the Federal-State Government Task Force headed by 18-year-old Veveonah Mosibin to resolve the kinks in Internet access in all the remote kampungs in Sabah interior to facilitate online education during the Covid-19 epidemic.
It will be a triple testimony that Malaysia values the contribution of youths, women and the minorities to resolve national problems, particularly those faced by the young generation of students over online education.
But there had been stony silence from the four personalities in the Federal and Sabah State governments who should be most concerned about such a digital divide in Sabah - the Education Minister, Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, the Minister for Communication and Multimedia, Saifuddin Abdullah, the Sabah Chief Minister, Hajiji Mohd Noor and last of all, the Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin who gave dinner to Veveonah during the Sabah state general election.
Let Veveonah Mosibin be Malaysia’s Greta Thunberg to inspire youths in Malaysia and the world to spearhead change to eliminate digital poverty.
Why is Radzi, Saifuddin, Hajiji and Muhyiddin so niggardly in their support for such a phenomenon?
Questions may be asked whether an 18-year-old Veveonah is qualified to chair a Federal-State Government task force to address the digital divide in the interior of Sabah.
My answer is why not. From her pluck, grit and determination even to spend 24 hours on a tree-top to gain better Internet access to sit for an online examination, I have full confidence of her qualification to head such a task force to combat digital poverty in Sabah’s interior. It will be to resolve a problem she herself had to overcome.
I think she has more pluck, grit and indomitable spirit than Radzi, Saifuddin, Hajiji and Muhyiddin or even with the four combined!
If 34-year-old Sanna Marin can be Prime Minister of Finland, Jacinda Ardern the New Zealand Prime Minister at the age of 37, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex the youngest woman elected to the United States Congress at the age of 29, Sebastian Kurz the Chancellor of Austria at the age of 31, Luigi DiMaio the Italian Deputy Prime Minister at the age of 31 and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman the Malaysian Minister of Youth and Sports at 25, I see no reason why 18-year-old Veveonah Mosibin cannot become Chairperson of the Federal-State Government Task Force to address the problem of digital divide in Sabah.
It is time that the millennials (born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s to early 2000s) be empowered with more trust, responsibility and power as 54 per cent of Malaysia’s population are below 30 years of age and some 70% of the population are below 40 years of age.
Let this be the era of the millennials – starting with Veveonah Mosibin!
The Muhyiddin Cabinet has no voice for the millennials in Malaysia, for there is no Minister who is below 40 years ago.
There are four Ministers in the Muhyiddin Cabinet who are below 50 years old, respectively 43, 44, 46 and 47 years old – a poor comparison with the Pakatan Harapan Cabinet, which started with a 25-year-old Minister, a 35-year-old Minister and five Ministers who were below 50 years old.
In fact the Pakatan Harapan with a 93-year-old Prime Minister had a Cabinet with younger average age of 55.7 years as compared to the bloated 32-member Muhyiddin Cabinet which had an average age of 57.5 years!
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg - who will be 18 years old next January - started her activism in her early teens and has become a world-wide household name, inspiring youths to take part in online activism for environmental causes and challenging political leaders on climate change.
She has received various awards and honours for her activism, including being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2019.
If Veveonah can be Malaysia’s Greta Thungberg to inspire youths in Malaysia and the world to eliminate digital poverty, this will be to her as well as to the nation’s credit.
Not only Saifuddin, Radzi, Hajiji and Muhyiddin should give her every support, she deserves the full support from the nation as well.
But first thing first.
Let me ask Saifuddin, Radzi, Hajiji and Muhyiddin whether they will support the idea of switching the RM81.5 million earmarked for the revival of the propaganda unit JASA in the 2021 Budget to fund a Federal-State Government task force to be chaired by Veveonah to address the problem of digital poverty in Sabah?