YTL Communications claims Education Ministry went back on tender offer

KUALA LUMPUR: YTL Communications Sdn Bhd has alleged that the Education Ministry has hired three internet service providers for schools when the company offered to do so for free.

In a statement Wednesday, YTL Communications said that the Education Ministry ministry had requested for free internet services for 10,000 schools operating the Frog Vvirtual 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 a few 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 Eduction 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. 

YTL has been providing the services since 2011, with their contract expired on July 1.

“Therefore, when the ministry announced on June 27, 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,” YTL Communications said.

The group said it had invested RM4bil building up the infrastructure in the schools for a 15 year project and it was their “legitimate expectation” that it would be given an extension of the contract into the next phase. 

“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,” YTL Communications.

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