Tan Sri Annuar Musa is adamant that the tablets that will be given out via the PerantiSiswa programme, will be premium and made by a known brand.
During the soft launch of the PerantiSiswa programme today, the Communications and Multimedia Minister (MenKOMM) said that the initiative will help 350,000 students, in B40 families, and who are studying at institutes of higher learning (under the purview of the Ministry of Higher Learning).
During the initial announcement of the programme, last year, during Budget 2022, it was said that PerantiSiswa would help 600,000 students.
Earlier that number dropped to 400,000 and today it’s 350,000 students. However, the budget stays the same at RM450 million.
It means that the estimated budget for the tablet increased from RM750 to RM1,125, to RM1,286. Which is a more realistic budget.
Lowyat.net listed a more complete minimum specifications of the PerantiSiswa tablet as follows:
- 10.1-inch display (1280×800)
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB storage
- 2MP front camera
- 5MP rear camera
- Built-in speakers
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Supports 4G LTE
- Supports dual-band Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz
- Bluetooth 4.1 or above
- 4500mAh battery
- Pre-installed with Android 10 or above
- Must include a USB charger, Bluetooth keyboard, and stylus.
During the question and answer session after the event, Annuar elaborated that he has no detailed knowledge of the acquisition process. He doesn’t know which company is getting the tender, what model of tablet will be available, and how much it will cost, except for the ceiling cost, which is RM450 million.
However, he reiterated that the tablet in the PerantiSiswa programme will be from a known brand and a consumer model, not an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) product that has been rebadged.
He also said that the programme will not be a one-off, and only encourage those who need the device to apply. Those who already have a laptop, should not do so.
Annuar didn’t rule out that the programme will not be too rigid and take into consideration many factors and even non-B40 students who are in need.
He then explained the reason that the tablets are not given outright to students is to prevent misuse and so that the maintenance and assistance will be easier in case the tablet breaks or gets lost.
The company that provides the tablet, he added, will also need to provide after-sales services and honour the warranty when required.
Therefore, he summarised, that the device must be provided by a reputable company and not an OEM.
He explained that the device provider will have approximately 45 days to prepare the tablets, which will then need to be customised with PerantiSiswa markings and apps.
During the Q&A session, he gave Lenovo and Samsung as examples, but he did not confirm the brand or model of tablet that is going to be offered.
Application for the PerantiSiswa tablet will open on 15 April at 8 am and the first tablets will be distributed in June.
You can watch the launch event here: