Wednesday, July 24, 2013

YTLC equipped for 1BestariNet project

Kamalanathan: YTLC equipped for 1BestariNet project
Business & Markets 2013
Written by Fatin Rasyiqah Mustaza of    
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 09:51

KUALA LUMPUR: YTL Communications Sdn Bhd (YTLC), a unit of YTL POWER INTERNATIONAL BHD [ ], is well equipped to undertake the 1BestariNet and Chromebook (laptop) supply projects, said Second Deputy Education Minister, P Kamalanathan.

“They have the ability to do the job. We have seen some of the work they have done and we are very impressed with it,” he told The Edge Financial Daily in an interview.

He said the bidding process for both projects was evaluated and monitored by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) as well as the Securities Commission.

Kamalanathan said YTLC would not only provide its 4G Yes Internet service and virtual learning environment (VLE) and the Chromebooks, it will also erect its own transmission towers and build mobile labs as part of the contract.

He said that with a long-term project such as this, YTLC has more cost advantage and offers “a lot of value-add” for both projects as the company is able to provide various services in one bundle.

“Why would we ask two or three people to do the job when we can have only one person to do it?” he asked. Kamalanthan revealed that 19 companies had put in bids for the 1BestariNet project and only six were shortlisted. The companies shortlisted were Celcom Axiata Bhd, Maxis Bhd, Multimedia Synergy Corp Bhd, TELEKOM MALAYSIA BHD [ ] and TIME DOTCOM BHD [ ] as well as YTLC.

As for the supply of Chromebooks, Matrix One Solution Sdn Bhd, Mutiara Smart Computing Sdn Bhd, Trustwell Sdn Bhd, Bitara Induk Sdn Bhd and YTLC were the companies shortlisted for the job.

“The company chosen for the job was evaluated through its competency and capabilities in implementing the project at a very affordable rate,” said Kamalanathan.

The 1BestariNet contract, which was authorised by the Finance Ministry, is valued at RM663 million for a tenure of 2½ years. The project was implemented in January 2012. According to Kamalanathan, RM463 million has already been paid to YTLC.

As at May 31, 2013, the company had completed 1,503 transmission towers or customer premises equipment (CPE).

As for the supply of Chromebooks, each unit is priced at RM1,255 and comes with a three-year guarantee.

The project took off last month and will be implemented in phases. YTLC will be providing 116,399 units for 2,839 “mobile labs”.

These mobile labs, which are portable storage and charging trolleys equipped with WiFi, enable teachers to utilise the Chromebooks in their classrooms. Each mobile lab, costing about RM86,000, can hold 41 Chromebooks.

The Education Ministry is currently targeting 2,002 schools, mainly secondary schools, for the Chromebook project.

The 1BestariNet and Chromebook supply projects have of late come under heavy criticism from the opposition coalition.

The DAP MP for Bukit Bendera Zairil Khir Johari had, among other things, questioned the rationale for awarding “several projects worth RM9 billion” to YTLC.

Kamalanathan, however, refuted the figure, saying “I want to know where he [Zairil] got the RM9 billion figure. He did not calculate it the right way”.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 24, 2013.

Publish date:24/07/13

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