Zairil: PAC report on 1BestariNet confirms my criticisms


PETALING JAYA: DAP lawmaker Zairil Khir Johari says the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report into 1BestariNet confirms his previous criticisms of the government’s handling of the mega project.

Speaking to FMT, the Bukit Bendera MP said the PAC’s findings prove that the 1BestariNet project should not have been implemented in the first place and that the wastages stemmed from appointing a contractor that did not benefit the government.

“It confirms my criticisms of the project that I raised in 2013 when I was first elected to Parliament.”

The 1BestariNet project by the Education Ministry was aimed at providing government schools with high-speed 4G connectivity and an online learning platform with the Frog VLE (Virtual Learning Environment).

The RM4.1 billion project – awarded to YTL Communications Sdn Bhd via open-tender – was introduced during the tenure of then deputy prime minister and education minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

In a PAC report tabled at the Dewan Rakyat today, the committee said the project was riddled with suspicious expenses and the contracts awarded were poorly managed.

Zairil had spoken up in the past about the erecting of the 1BestariNet Receiver Integrated System (1BRIS) towers which served to receive and transmit Internet signals that did not have Local Area Networks (LAN).

He said the Valuation and Property Services Department recommended that the Education Ministry charge YTL monthly rental of RM1,200 for each 1BRIS site, but the ministry decided on a RM1,000 annual rental instead.

“Thus, if commercial rates were between RM1,200 to RM1,500 per month, Putrajaya would lose out on millions.”

Asked about the effectiveness of the project, Zairil said that it had failed to meet its KPIs as there were many schools which still did not enjoy good Internet connections.

“I propose that 1BestariNet be stopped, and that schools be given the freedom to choose its own Internet provider and service they offer.”