A recent remark by the Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa has revealed the true nature of the upcoming PerantiSiswa Keluarga Malaysia program which is expected to be launched later this month. As it turns out, the program is essentially a tablet loan scheme.
According to the report by Bernama, Annuar has said students have to return the tablets to their learning institutions at the end of their studies. The minister also said that the tablets are essentially government properties and naturally, students also have to make sure that they would not lose the devices or sell them to other people.
On the other hand, the tablets will come with a warranty and students just have to return them to obtain a new unit. Annuar also insists that the tablets will come from reputable brands although the minister still has yet to reveal the actual brand names.
Understandably, some might be disappointed by this revelation as the original announcement of PerantiSiswa by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul during the tabling of Bajet 2022 last October never mentioned it as a loan scheme. If you go back to the original speech [pdf], this was the actual text:
“In order to ensure that education for B40 students are not disrupted, the Government in collaboration with selected telecommunication companies will implement the PerantiSiswa Keluarga Malaysia initiative to supply a tablet to every B40 student in institutions of higher learning.”
Even the subsequent statement released by the Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC) in November also did not refer to it as a loan scheme. In a way, what happened here mirrored the previous CERDIK programme which was revealed to be a loan scheme months after it was first announced at the tabling of Bajet 2021.
Meanwhile, Annuar once again noted that the registration for PerantiSiswa will be opened on 15 Apri at the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia’s website while full details regarding the scheme will also be revealed at the same time. He also said that the first batch of the tablet’s distribution will involve around 60% of the 400,000 eligible students which is expected to take place in the second week of June 2022.