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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Rashid Hasnon's 'durian fiasco': It wasn't an old video, afterall

 In a statement, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, who is also Batu Pahat MP apologised for what he labelled as confusion over what transpired. - NSTP/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

KUALA LUMPUR: With Netizens debating the veracity behind the Deputy Speaker's claim that a video of him enjoying durians with a group of people was an old footage, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon finally puts an end to 'online investigations'.

In a statement, the Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker who is also Batu Pahat MP apologised for what he labelled as confusion over what transpired.

When the video first took social media by storm, Rashid had told reporters when asked about it that it was probably an old video, shot before the movement control order (MCO) was imposed.

Many were unhappy as the people seen in the clip did not practise physical distancing and some did not wear face masks.

'Online investigations' ranged from claims that a man in the video looked like he had a black face mask under his chin to a lady wearing a hijab from a collection that was released just two months ago.

Rashid's 'old footage' claim began to unravel when Netizens placed him and Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin at an event in Batu Pahat on June 27, where Zuraida was seen in a photo receiving durians and Rashid was wearing what appeared to be a shirt similar to the one he had on in the viral footage.

"I apologise for the confusion that arose when media contacted me to ask about the video at a farm and I replied without first watching the video.

"After my audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday, only then I had the time to analyse the video involving me," he said.

Rashid went on to speak about the plight of durian farmers, impacted by the MCO and how he always received complaints from small farmers who suffer from reduced sales. In the 10-paragraph statement, he did not give an exact date of when the video was taken.

He however said that upon studying the video, one of the clips which went viral was his visit to a durian kampung farm, run by locals, impacted by the present MCO.

"It so happened at the time there was a working visit by minister Zuraida Kamaruddin to Batu Pahat. We gifted durians to the minister's entourage to take home," he said.

Rashid informed that after the minister's entourage left, he was taken to a farm by a farm owner to hear of the troubles they face.

"When I arrived at the farm, the durian farm owner served us (durians). I had a little bit while discussing with the farm owner on the measures of help that can be channelled.

"After the discussion ended, I left the programme early as I had to return to Kuala Lumpur," he said, apologising again for his oversight and that he would cooperate with the police. - NST

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