Education ministry went back on internet tender offer, claims YTL Communications
By Digital News Asia July 3, 2019
- Group said it invested over RM4 billion in building up the infrastructure in schools
- YTL Communications will provide a complete solution of free internet services
YTL Communications Sdn Bhd has claimed that the Ministry of Education has breached its contractual obligations.
In a statement on July 3, YTL Communications said it invested over RM4 billion in building up the infrastructure in schools for a 15-year project for the Frog Virtual Learning Environment (Frog VLE).
YTL Communications said that the Education Ministry ministry had requested for free internet services for 10,000 schools operating the Frog Virtual Learning Environment (Frog VLE) pending a tender.
“The ministry requested that we provide free internet services as the Government ‘did not have the budget’ to pay for these services,” YTL Communications said.
YTL Communication said this was communicated during a meeting on April 23 between the ministry together with Telekom Malaysia, Celcom Axiata, Maxis and other internet service providers (ISPs) over Phase 3 of the 1BestariNet project.
The meeting was informed that there would be a delay of another six months during which the 10,000 participating schools would continue to require interim internet services.
The group said it wrote to Education Minister Maszlee Malik on May 31, 2019 confirming that YTL Communications will provide a complete solution of free internet services as well as the Frog VLE for the interim period until the tender was called and awarded.
“Therefore, when the Ministry announced on June 27, 2019, that it had awarded the interim services to Telekom Malaysia, Celcom Axiata and Maxis, it came as a complete surprise.
“The Ministry had excluded YTL Communications, reneged on its statement to call an open tender and agreed to pay for the internet services to the three appointed ISPs although we had offered the services for free.
According to the statement, while in the process of still seeking clarity, YTL Communications were shocked to learn on June 28, 2019 of a post that, appeared on the Facebook page of “Friends of Maszlee Malik” that gave 7 reasons why the 1BestariNet project should be terminated.
“This article, which may have been using the Minister’s name without his knowledge, contained points which we deem as false and slanderous.”
YTL Communcations said it had written to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik on May 31, 2019, confirming it would provide a complete solution of free Internet services, as well as the Frog VLE for the interim period until the tender was called and awarded.
According to the statement, the 1BestariNet project was awarded to YTL Communications in 2011 after an open tender for a 15 year service contract to be implemented in phases.
The scope of work included providing a total learning solution comprising internet connectivity, security and the Frog Virtual Learning Environment (Frog VLE). It was intended that a review would be undertaken after each phase before reaching agreement on the next phase.
In July last year the Ministry announced that it will be calling a fresh tender for the learning solution and confirmed that YTL Communications will not be excluded from the tender.
“The ministry had excluded YTL communications, reneged on its statement to call an open tender and agreed to pay for the internet services to the three appointed ISPs although we had offered the services for free,” YTL Communications said.
“We view the ministry’s actions as being in breach of their contractual obligations to us. Disappointingly, they have not acted in good faith in respect of what have been informed and what has actually been implemented,” said YTL Communications.