Zaril Disputes the RM6.6 Billion Cost to Supply Chromebook Laptops by YTL


SHAH ALAM, July 16: The action of the Ministry of Education to provide Chromebook laptops to schools under the ‘1Student1Device’ programme through YTL Corporation Bhd (YTL) raises questions because the RM6.6 billion cost is believed to be too high.

Penang Hill Member of Parliament, Zairil Khir Johari said, according to the answers given during the Parliamentary session questioning, it was stated that the overall cost involving 5.5 million students throughout the country who will receive laptops at the price of RM1,200 each in addition to the cost of licensing and maintenance.

According to him, the Ministry of Education can save costs by buying directly from the supplier, Samsung or Acer compared to awarding the project to YTL, a company which is not a manufacturer or distributor of computers.

“Under the guidelines of the Ministry, the Chromebook supply to schools will either be the Samsung Chromebook or the Acer Chromebook, both of which are Wi-Fi enabled.

“My initial checking on the retail prices revealed that the Samsung Chromebook with Wi-Fi is sold at RM988 in Malaysia, while the 4G unit is sold at a retail price of RM1,299.

“These prices are higher than the cost of similar units around the world. Based on a comparison I did, between the United States/Canada (Acer C7 Wi-Fi (RM633), Samsung Wi-Fi (RM792), Australia (Acer C7 Wi-Fi (RM952), Samsung Wi-Fi (RM1,111) and the united Kingdom (Acer C7 Wi-Fi (RM943), Samsung Wi-Fi (RM1,085),” he said in a press statement today.

For starters, he said, the supply of the laptops involves early bookings for 116,399 units at a cost of RM139.6 million.

He questioned why the ministry paid RM1,200 for the Samsung Wi-Fi unit when the same unit is sold for only RM988?

“In fact, the ministry will definitely get a big discount with orders amounting to 116,399 units and will buy another 5.4 million units in line with the ‘1Student1Device’ programme,” he said.

Not only that, Zairil said that YTL and its subsidiaries was awarded other projects that has profited the ministry which is the installation of 4G high-speed broadband under the 1BestariNet programme to all schools (RM663 million for a 2.5 year contract).

The Virtual Learning Platform (VLE) for teachers, students and parents (RM250.5 million for licensing fees for a fixed duration and RM262.8 million for management and maintenance costs).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.