It appears that B40 university students will have to wait for a longer time for their PerantiSiswa tablets. According to a report by Free Malaysia Today, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the distribution of the free tablets to eligible students in institutions of higher learning will be delayed as the tender for the initial supplier was cancelled by the Finance Ministry.
Annuar Musa didn’t provide further details on the cancellation but mentioned that the Treasury had looked into the details, and there were certain things that should be redone. He said the Finance Ministry has the prerogative to make the final call on tenders above a certain amount including devices for the PerantiSiswa programme.
The Minister said a new tender was called recently and a company was shortlisted. He said the second round of evaluation will be done online and it hopes that the Finance Ministry can make its decision by mid-June.
The free tablet programme was announced during Budget 2022 with an allocation of RM450 million. Applications were open since 15 April and the first round of tablet distribution was supposed to start in June. With the latest developments, the government is now looking at kicking off its first distribution in mid-July. Initially, the programme was meant to provide a total of 600,000 tablets and the quantity has been revised down to 350,000 units. The tablets will be distributed to students through a loan scheme and it must be returned after completing their studies.
Annuar Musa had previously announced the minimum spec requirements for the PerantiSiswa tablets. The devices must have at least a 10.1″ display, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, dual-band WiFi and 4G LTE support, a 4,500mAh battery and run on Android 10 and above. The tablets must also come with a keyboard and a stylus included.
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