5,000+ opt for smartphone rebate; RM500 price cap removed (Updated)

  • Thousands register in the first 12 hours of offer
  • Cabinet agrees to remove RM500 price cap

5,000+ opt for smartphone rebate; RM500 price cap removed (Updated)
NEARLY 5,500 people from ages 21 to 30 registered for the Youth Communications Package (YCP) which offers an RM200 (US$65) rebate for the purchase of smartphones, as at 7pm on Jan 1, the first day of the offer, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said in a statement.
The scheme, which was announced as part of the national budget, is being implemented by seven telecommunications companies: Celcom, Clixster, DiGi, Maxis, Tune Talk, U Mobile and YTL Communications; and coordinated by the MCMC. 

“We are grateful and pleased by the public support for this scheme,” said MCMC chairman Dato' Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi. “This overwhelming response shows that people, especially youths, are ready to move into the ICT age and accept the world of Internet technology development."

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Information, Culture and Communication MInister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim (picture) said the Cabinet meeting today agreed that youths earning below RM3,000 a month can buy any smartphone without the price cap, The Malaysian Insider reported.

Umno Youth and MCA had told Putrajaya there should not be a price cap after the MCMC announced the scheme’s details last month, the independent news portal said.

Earlier, MCMC's Sharil had said that, “We really want to help those who cannot afford to change phones to upgrade from their old 2G phones to a basic 3G smartphone. Those who can afford phones priced above RM500 are really not in the intended category or target market.
"Some of those phones can reach prices of over RM2,500 without contract. A RM200 rebate does not even make a dent, but if the phone is priced at RM500, a RM200 rebate goes a long way.
"Again, the target is the lower income group and youths,” he had argued for the price cap. END UPDATE

The YCP website at komunikasibelia.skmm.gov.my has been difficult to access since 7am, Jan 1, which Sharil attributed to the overwhelming response.
“We urge those who are still trying to access the website to be patient – the issue is being addressed by our technical team and we apologize for the inconvenience,” he said.
Registration for the YCP can be made online from 7am-11pm. For more info, call the hotline at 1800-88-4040 from 8:30am-5:30 pm, Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.
The scheme is on a first-come, first-served basis and will be for the first 1.5 million eligible youths who may claim their smartphones while stocks last. Although the scheme is targeted at the lower-income group, any youth of the requisite age whose monthly income is lower than RM3,000 is eligible.
The MCMC also noted that the service providers above are still updating the available smartphone models and a list of their agents on their own website. Currently, there are over 20 types of 3G smartphones on offer.
Related Stories:

Smartphone rebate intended for lower-income group: MCMC
The smartphone rebate just got stupider
Budget 2013 smartphone rebate: A stupid thing to do
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