‘Why purchase expensive Chromebook models?’

Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari reveals that Chromebook units purchased by Education Ministry are above the market price. 

K Pragalath, FMT

Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari today questioned the Education Ministry on the purchase of Chromebook laptops at a higher-than-market price for the 1Student 1Device programme.

He also questioned the need to buy so many Chromebooks when it is not user specific.

“I would now like to question the cost-efficiency of the proposed purchase of Chromebooks, which are laptops based on cloud computing, meaning that each unit is not user-specific.

“In other words, users can login using any Chromebook to access their information and files, which are kept on a ‘cloud’ or a remote server,” Zairil said in a statement today.

The ministry has already allocated RM139.6 million for the initial purchase of 116,399 units. Each Chromebook is priced at RM1,200.

However, Zairil revealed that the market price for a Samsung Wi-fi model is only RM988 and a Samsung 4G RM1,299.

“Why is the ministry paying RM1,200 for a Samsung Wi-Fi model when the same unit retails at only RM988?

“Surely, the ministry would be able to get a substantial discount considering that it is ordering 116,399 units with a view to buy 5.4 million more for the 1 Student 1 Device programme?”

The 1Student 1Device programme was launched by the Education Minister Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in February this year and he promised that each student will be receiving a laptop under the programme.

Yesterday, Zairil asked why the Education Ministry had allowed YTL to monopolise three of its projects. The three are:-