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Pakatan Says Govt is Paying Over Double for Teachers’ Tablets, BN Responds to Issue

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Here's What BN Has to Say About The Issue of The "Overpriced" Teacher Tablets - WORLD OF BUZZ 6
Source: MMO
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In case you missed it, it was announced that Malaysian teachers will be assigned free tablets to facilitate their teaching where about 430,000 of these gadgets will be distributed before June 2018. 

Here's What BN Has to Say About The Issue of The "Overpriced" Teacher Tablets - WORLD OF BUZZ

Source: The Star

While this idea is all well and good, two Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers have voiced out some concerning issues about the execution of this plan. According to FMTthe two ministers have questioned the relevance of Umno-owned publisher, Utusan Malaysia supplying these computer tablets and the prices.

One of them, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim alleged that the government was paying for more than double the market price to provide these tablets to the teachers. He urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the government contract and said that the project should have been awarded through open tender.



Here's What BN Has to Say About The Issue of The "Overpriced" Teacher Tablets - WORLD OF BUZZ 1

Source: MMO

Steven added, “An open tender can ensure that a contractor that is genuinely qualified and can provide a better price is selected, and that there is no cronyism or bribery.”

Apparently, Utusan was paid RM152 million for 182,712 units of tablets while it is believed that the total cost of the project is estimated to be about RM340 million. Hmm, looks like it may run over budget, though!

Meanwhile, PKR MP for Bayan Baru Sim Tze Tzin also spoke up about the motive of giving the contract to Utusan and suspected that this was done to save the unprofitable Utusan, which had been reportedly making losses. “I suspect that this is a way to ‘bail out’ Utusan,” he added.

Here's What BN Has to Say About The Issue of The "Overpriced" Teacher Tablets - WORLD OF BUZZ 2

Source: NST

He was similarly baffled over the choice of Utusan as a technological supplier when they were first and foremost a newspaper publisher. Diversifying their business, maybe?

In addition, Steven also calculated the cost of the tablet, which appears to be a Lenovo Tab3 7 Essential and estimated that the government had overpaid more than double the original price that he found on an online shopping platform.



Malaysiakini reported that he said, “According to popular shopping platform Lazada, the Lenovo Tab3 Essential can be purchased for RM388. In other words, each tablet supplied by Utusan to the government comes to RM832. RM388 is the online retail price. If the government purchased 430,000 units in bulk, I believe it could obtain a better price if an open tender was conducted.”

However, a rebuttal against these allegations was made by Barisan Nasional’s strategic communications (BNSC) unit’s Eric See-To who slammed Steven, according to FMT. Apparently, the amount paid to Utusan for the tablets included other costs and commitments.

Here's What BN Has to Say About The Issue of The "Overpriced" Teacher Tablets - WORLD OF BUZZ 4

Source: Utusan

See-To said, “Sim calculated the cost to be RM832. He then checked the price online at Lazada to be RM388 per tablet. While I had not had the chance to contact Utusan or anyone from the Ministry of Education, a simple check online showed that the contract given to Utusan is not just for the bare tablet but includes the Tutor Guru application developed, owned and operated by Utusan, as well as a subscription to the Utusan ePaper, the daily newspaper, to be delivered to the teachers online every day.”

He added that there would be definitely be licensing and maintenance cost for the Tutor Guru software while a year’s subscription to Utusan ePaper costs RM180 per year. Why don’t give free/discounted subscription wor? 

Here's What BN Has to Say About The Issue of The "Overpriced" Teacher Tablets - WORLD OF BUZZ 5

For illustration purposes only | Source: SCMP

See-To stressed that “Sim was wrong to say that the 182,712 units of tablets were supplied by Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd for double the market price”. Hmm, what do you think?

Who knows, maybe those are really good apps they have in the tablet!



 

Also read: “RM100 for ‘Nasi Campur’ is a Reasonable Price,” Says Ministry

"RM100 for Two Plates of 'Nasi Campur' is Reasonable," Says Ministry of Domestic Trade - WORLD OF BUZZ 2

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