PerantiSiswa: Annuar Musa Teases Tablets for B40 University Students, Applications Set to Open April 15

Last month, Minister of Communications and Multimedia (MenKOMM) Tan Sri Annuar Musa announced that B40 students studying at tertiary institutions will soon be able to apply for tablets under the PerantiSiswa scheme. The free tablet program was announced during the 2022 budget filing with a total allocation of RM450 million.

Yesterday, the minister tweeted several photos of a tablet equipped with a keyboard and a stylus, which will be included as standard under the PerantiSiswa program. The brand of the tablet in his tweet is still unknown but the keyboard looks like an OEM Bluetooth keyboard which can be had for less than RM100.

He said his ministry is working hard to complete the PerantiSiswa online portal which is expected to open for applications on April 15, 2022. Several weeks ago he shared that the tablets will be of good quality equipped with at least a 10.1 screen ″ and 4 GB of RAM.

At the last press conference, he said that students can submit their application online from mid-April and that deliveries should start in early June. The second phase of distribution will follow, which should take place two months later, in August.

It should be noted that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had previously announced that the tablets would be offered through participating telecom operators including Celcom, Digi, Maxis, U Mobile, TM and YTL Communications. It is likely that the tablets will come with a data plan and contract, similar to the Pakej Peranti Keluarga Malaysia.

When PerantiSiswa was first announced during the tabling of the budget in parliament, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul said the initiative would benefit 600,000 students. However, the Minister of Communications recently said that the program will benefit 400,000 students, a reduction of 33%. Assuming the total budget allocation of RM450 million remains unchanged, the program would be able to purchase tablets at RM1,125 each. The tablets could be worth more assuming that the telecom operators also participate by further subsidizing the cost of the tablets if they are bound by a contract.

Annuar Musa said the purchase of the tablets will be done transparently and meticulously. It also proposes to reserve 10% of the tablets for special cases such as students from low-income groups who are not in the diploma or license category. This may include graduate students or doctoral students who cannot afford devices.

Besides tablets, the government will soon offer an e-wallet credit of RM150 to young people under the ePemula scheme. Young people between the ages of 18 and 20, as well as full-time students in higher education institutions, will be able to redeem their eWallet credit with BigPay, GrabPay, ShopeePay and Touch ‘n Go eWallet in mid-April.

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