PETALING JAYA: An MP has questioned the government’s implementation of an initiative to provide 150,000 laptop computers to schoolchildren after it was revealed that the devices will be given on loan rather than given outright to the recipients.
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said he was “sad and disappointed” that the computers must eventually be returned.
He said several questions arose from the scheme, including why the loan of the laptops was not mentioned when the “Cerdik” initiative was announced during the tabling of the 2021 budget.
It was announced at the time that government companies would contribute RM150 million for the provision of laptop computers to 150,000 pupils of 500 schools.
The first batch of computers, along with tablets and mobile phone data packages, are to be delivered this month, with funding from 13 companies.
“What happens if the laptop is damaged or if there are other issues? Will the students from poor families have to replace them?,” said Syed Saddiq.
“When Barisan Nasional was the government, they allocated RM450 million for netbooks, they were not loaned. So why is the government now loaning laptops? This is very strange.”
Syed Saddiq, who has been collecting donations to buy laptop computers to be given to students, said the machines could be handed on to younger siblings of the recipients.