Investigate the RM3 billion spent on 1BestariNet, says BN man

PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional has called for investigations to be carried out into the now defunct 1BestariNet project to create an online learning platform, on which the government spent RM3 billion.

Following revelations by former education minister Maszlee Malik, the information chief of Selangor Barisan Nasional, Isham Jalil, called for a special committee or a royal commission of inquiry to be formed to look into the case.

The mega project was initiated in 2011 when Muhyiddin Yassin was education minister. It cost the government a total of RM3 billion over the course of several phases of the contract with YTL Communications Sdn Bhd.

Maszlee said the project, designed to provide connectivity and a learning platform for teachers, students and parents, was often criticised for poor internet service.

A total of RM3 billion was spent on the 1BestariNet project to put schools online and create a learning platform. (Bernama pic)

Isham told FMT: “There is still no closure to this case. The government needs to investigate this thing and find out where the RM3 billion went to, it’s a large amount to be going to one company.”

Another matter requiring scrutiny was Maszlee’s assertion that he was pressured to resign because of his unwillingness to extend YTL’s contract. “He made the supposition that he was pushed out of the job because he didn’t extend the contract, which is quite a revelation,” Isham said.

“If what Maszlee is saying is true, it would suggest there was some sort of intervention from somebody outside of the government pushing for his removal. Something doesn’t smell right here.”

Maszlee’s disclosures about the 1BestariNet project were made in his book “Memori Bukan Memoir.” He said the decision not to extend YTL’s contract was purely a professional one, based on the project not meeting its objectives and performance indicators.

Isham Jalil.

The YTL contract was one of the reasons that Mahathir asked him to resign, and according to Mahathir, at the request of the Bersatu president (Muhyiddin), said Maszlee. “In my last meeting with Mahathir, I can still remember, he said, ‘The Bersatu president is very angry with you because of this issue’.”

By : Imran Ariff – FMT

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