Only 123,000 units of netbook computers were given out

YB Datuk Joseph Sallang Gandum, the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Information, Multimedia & Culture, Culture informed Parliament in his reply as follows:

First phase 8 companies were involved in the supplying of 123,000 units of notebook computers. The 8 companies were appointed by way direct negotiation! The names of the 8 comapnies (names not very clear, will amend later) are as follows: Mutiara S…, Nalius Av …, Acer, Lenovo, Samsung International, Megas …, Hidaya Construction, Mega Trade …, Hydrianate …

The Deputy Minister also said

– no son of the Minister or the officer was involved in these companies;

– the total balance of the USP Fund as at 31-12-2010 was ABOUT RM4.5 billion(when pressed for the current total of the USP as at today, the Deputy Minister was unable to provide and he promised to give me a written reply about it);

–  the amount of money given under the USP Fund for each notebook was less than RM1,000 per unit but he copuld not give a definite figure;

–  the remaining 200,000 units of notebook have not been finalsied and it will be by way of open tender.

When I asked him why the Audit Committee of MCMC has not met for almost a year? There was no reply from the Deputy Minsiter.  there are many other questions which have not been answered.  I shall persue it during Committee Stage.

16 thoughts on “Only 123,000 units of netbook computers were given out

  1. Geng Rocky

    Hallo YB…

    u pun sudah jadi Barua Rocky Bru ka? Rocky Bru Bila tak dapat Projek Netbook maka menyerang Minister.

    U jaga Status lah Yb, jangan jadi Barua

    1. weechookeong

      Saya tak perlu jadi barua kepada sesiapa termasuk Menteri. Kami adalah barua untuk merpertahankan hak dan kepetingan rakyat.

      Tujuan utama USP adalah untuk membawa IT ke rural area. Therefore, Kementerian perlu melaksanakan kerja-kerja infrastruktur dahulu. Infrastrukture tiada tertapi membelanjakan billion Ringgit untuk netbook. Putting the cart before the horse.

      Semasa menjawab soalabn-soalan saya YB Menteri tak mampu memaklum kepada Dewan apakah jumlah dana USP pada kini.

      Janagan bimbang saya tak akan menjadi barua kepada Menteri atau pegawai tertentu di Kementerian. Kami setiansa mepertahankan hak dan kepentingan rakyat. Saya akan teruskan soalan-soalan di pringkat Jawatankuasa.

      Sekian, terima kasih

      wee choo keong

  2. Syed Akbar Ali


    123,000 netbooks is approx RM123.0 million. That is a drop compared to RM4.5 billion. Where has the rest of the money gone?

    Who was the balance of the RM4.5 billion paid to and why? Apa pasal the Minister does not want to reply?

    Good job YB.

    Syed Akbar Ali

    1. weechookeong

      Abdullah Hakim Bujang,

      Saya meminta maaf terhadap salah ejaan nama Timbalan Menteri tersebut. Kesalahan ini bukanlah dengan segaja. Sukacita dimaklumkan bahawa saya menaikan posting di dalam blog di dalam Dewan. Walaubagaimanapun sekali lagi saya memohon maaf.

      Sekian terima kasih,

      wee choo keong


    We are very HAPPY to see YBerkhimat Wee give us
    this information as we needed . DAP dont even dare
    to hightlight this issue . Worry BN give notebooks to rakyat ? Mr Wee is not baruah , only that he is not so easily jealous like someone

    Anyway this is our second topic . Read more from–1

    When government say want to launch GST , DAP MP Tony Pua outline here 3 pre-conditions before a GST system can be imposed in Malaysia . One of them is Malaysia must first achieve the ” high income ” status bandied about by the Prime Minister before imposing GST .When Government launch New Economic Model ( NEM ) , Tony Pua pulak say the government can go ahead and carry out the Goods Services Tax . His conclusion is : So instead of just focusing on how to generate higher wages through higher productivity , the government can instantly raise our standard of living by lowering car prices to their market levels and at the same time raise petrol prices to ensure that we bear the real economic costs of driving . But when effective 16 July 2010 , subsidies for fuel , specifically petrol , diesel and liquefied petroleum gas ( LPG ) , as well as sugar , will be reduced as the first step of a gradual subsidy rationalisation programme , while Tony Pua admitting that Malaysians are overusing petroleum , he blamed the attitude on the policies implemented by our government over the past 20 years. “ Firstly , we have not been upgrading our public transport system . How do you expect people to travel around without an efficient and wide covering public transport. ” “ Secondly , our government chose to spend money supporting our national automotive carmakers and as a result , we have the highest car ownership ratio in the entire region ” he said . What rubbish he is talking sekejap cakap Govt should lowering car prices ( means encourage people to use car ? ) and sekejap pulak blame ” we have the highest car ownership ratio in the entire region ” . When PLUS takeover under the heading EPF To Acquire PLUS , Tony Pua say Robbing Peter To Pay Paul . But he forget in his earlier writing on 26/2/2009 , that DAP has proposed that the government should nationalize PLUS under the Takeover rules of KLSE .


    YB, keep up d good work. Taxpayers money spend .should be accountable for.
    To GENG ROCKY bersubahat dgn siapa tidak penting. Yang penting penyelewengan tidak berlaku. Kalau benar kenapa mesti takut. Komen anda secara tidak sengaja telah mendedahkan siapa anda sebenarnya.

  5. Geng Rakyat

    Geng Rocky: teruslah menjadi geng Dino, anak Menteri. Masalah adalah kenapa perlu membeli netbook sebelum ada infrastruktur di kawasan lua bandar tertentu.

    Kenapa seorang Timbalan Menteri tak tahu berapakah jumlah USP kini.

  6. Charles F Moreira

    Syed Akbar Ali,

    The MCMC press release of 1 November accounts for where all that money went or more accurately was allocated to – ie. to eight USP projects including the 1Malaysia Netbooks project.

    The netbook’s project is in three phases. The 123,000 netbooks is the first phase but the RM1 billion allocation is for all three.

    Read my article on that here where I have laid out the details.

    Also, not all that money may actually have been disbursed yet, but merely has been allocated to respective projects, so the RM380 million (not RM400 million) left over in its in the USP Fund – in accounting terms that is – well that’s my take on the situation.

    Anyway, the USP Fund is expected to be spent on advancing its objectives and not be kept in the bank to pile up and earn interest.

    Also, as the operators pay their USP Fund contributions, it will replenish the quantum available in the fund for future allocations.

    The Deputy Minister should not have shot off his mouth without knowing the facts first and the MCMC should have publishing its account of the allocations earlier to avoid people making all kinds of speculation.

  7. that Idiot

    I just cannot believe that you still idiot who was trying to support the MCMC for the abused of USP Fund.

    The USP was set up to bring IT to the rural areas because no telcos would want to go there. To bring IT to the rural areas one needs a good infrastructure first and not netbook. Please wake up idiot.

    Of course, putting the money in the bank is not the solution. But abusing the USP is criminal ok. I do agree that buying netbooks before setting up IT infrastructures in the rural areas was to “put the cart before the horse”. But some idiot was trying so hard to justify the abused of USP Fund by someone in the Ministry.

    Why the Deputy Minister was unable to provide the present balance of USP Fund and what is the actual money paid out to the 8 vendors of the netbook. One of whom appears to be a construction company.

    Idiot, please stop defending the indefensible. Just look at the Deputy Minister’s statement of 25 October 2010 in the Malay Mail where he has said that “no USP money has been spent and the current USP balance was RM400 million.

    Look at the facts which speak for themselves!

  8. vsvsv

    OMG, our government should be more careful what they are spending. Look at listed companies run. The Ceo and the ED and even independent directors go to jail if the fund is liable and they can go to jail too if found guilty of manupulating the fund. Our government should sack the ministers and jail them to show how a clean government should be. Why double standard compared to listed companies??

  9. Charles F Moreira

    I have the press release by the MCMC issued on 1 November.

    Also, the deputy minister was wrong in his reply. He shot off his mouth without knowing that the funds had been allocated to eight USP projects, including the netbooks.

    Those netbooks are to be distributed to families earning under RM3,000 per month which live within districts where there are Community Broadband Centres and Community Broadband Libraries which have broadband access and WiFi.

    I have been to one of these Community Broadband Centres – ie. Felda Chini One and seen for myself.

    These pictures in this article were taken by me during my visit.

    Packet One Networks has a Community Broadband Centre in Felda Chini Timur nearby.

    I mentioned it in this article here

    Let me not say that USP initiatives around the world don’t have their problems but what does not?

    Also, I too wonder as to whether every recipient of those netbooks will make good use of them and what measures the MCMC has in place to ensure that they are all used properly and are not sold or just left to rot.

    I still recall the PC initiative some years back which allowed EPF withdrawls to buy PCs and there were reported cases of people buying PCs then selling them off to get the cash.

    BTW. The operators tend to oppose the USP Fund, since they have to pay what amounts to a “tax” into it.

    I was at the GSM Association event in Singapore in 2006 where the operators spoke against it but that’s because of their own self interest.

    If you were governing the country, what would do to try to bridge the digital divide?

    By all means, let’s ask questions and voice out our doubts but at the same time, let’s do it e more constructively.

  10. Charles F Moreira

    BTW. The Malay Mail was among those which received a copy of that press release. I checked to list of recipients.

    I have yet to see a report in The Malay Mail about it.

    Call that “press freedom”?

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  13. Fed Up

    Hi Charlies,

    I enjoyed reading your writings.

    Your question:
    If you were governing the country, what would do to try to bridge the digital divide?

    I think in general, the country has adopted amazing programmes and the initiative taken to bridge the digital divide is a good one.

    My problem isn’t in the programmes devised but in the execution phase. I could not have devised more through and well planned programmes. I applaud the people who came up with the programmes.

    But the execution is really pathetic.

    Most of the time, greed is our biggest enemy. We lose focus and the programmes take a different form.

    What we need is for change and to remove all the cancerous individuals immediately. We should exercise zero tolerance for people who mismanage funds and execute unprofessional work conduct.

    This is the case because people who are key management staff are not behaving in an exemplary manner. So it is difficult to inculcate such perfect work order. Can you imagine in a company where the key managers are also the people involved in mismanagement of funds. These are people with no work integrity preaching to their subordinates on principled work culture.

    This is where we have allowed ourselves to be. When a staff reaches the age of fifty in a Government, Semi-Government or Corporatised Department, the one thing on their mind is a retirement plan. The days of my parents, retirement plan is the pension that they get or their life saving.

    Nevertheless we must start somewhere and in some way. It is not an easy path.

    Yes, the USP funds are meant to be spent and not kept in the bank but it does warrant prudent and well thought spending. Also, if the money could not be spent, maybe TELCOs should not charge the stakeholder exorbitant fees.
    So what should we do? So many things to be done but unfortunately, you got to rake out all the bad individuals to get it back going – if it was going once.

    Anyway, I do enjoy your writing.

    Fed Up

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