PETALING JAYA: The digital gap among students must be closed up and this can only happen when the government, telecommunication service providers and IT business community work together, says the Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister.
Datuk Ahmad Amzad Hashim said digital access and equipment were increasingly essential for students to follow their lessons online.
He suggested IT equipment vendors consider leasing packages as an alternative for parents who cannot afford to own a computer.
He said the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), as well as service providers, also needed to revisit the free daily 1GB Internet data allocation and increase it to 10GB daily or allow a “carry forward” option.
“This would support more users who are working or learning from home, especially families with more than three children.
“(They) could also extend zero-rated access to learning applications such as Google Classroom or Google Meet and other learning platforms, ” he said, adding that service providers could also consider subsidising IT equipment and data packages as part of their corporate social responsibility efforts.
Ahmad Amzad also called on the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to intensify price monitoring activities to ensure vendors do not take advantage of the current situation to arbitrarily increase prices.
He commented on the perceived price increase in IT equipment as demand soared following online learning (PdPR) and work from home trends during the movement control order period.
Separately, Ahmad Amzad, who is also Kuala Terengganu MP, has set aside two months of his salary and allowance to provide 100 tablets to underprivileged students in his constituency.
He raised RM50,000 for the cause and purchased 150 more tablets for students with funds from a public fundraising effort which he organised.
Meanwhile, Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Rosol Wahid said 341 out of 343 traders checked under Ops Catut 8.0 (Electronic Appliances-Communications) from Jan 25 to Feb 8 had been instructed to reveal cost and selling prices to detect elements of profiteering.