The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has revealed that the RM200 smartphone rebate announced in Budget 2013 is only for smartphones priced below RM500.
MCMC published the following criteria in its web page:
- Only applies to Malaysian citizens from the ages of 21-30;
- Monthly income of RM3,000 and below;
- Smartphone models below the price of RM500;
- Each youth is only entitled to purchase one smartphone; and,
- Customers can either use their existing mobile broadband or apply for new packages.
According to the notice published yesterday, the rebate programme under the National Broadband Initiative (NBI) has been allocated a sum of RM300 million by the government which will benefit 1.5 million youths.
Applications for the rebate are open from Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2013 and interested youths can apply through the MCMC website.
A blue stamp was visible at the right corner of the notice that read "Janji Ditepati, Mulai 1 Januari 2013, Budget 2013" (Promises Fulfilled from Jan 1, 2013, Budget 2013).
In a press release late this evening, MCMC chairperson Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi said the price cap was necessary because the policy was designed to help the lower income group and youths to own smartphones.
"If the phone is priced at RM500, a RM200 rebate goes a long way," he said, who suggested 23 models currently in the market which fits this category.
When contacted by Malaysiakini, MCMC compliance department assistant director Fairul Rizal explained that the web page has been taken down since today as some of its designs have to be modified. The web page was initially inaccessible in the morning and afternoon.
"There are some adjustments that need to be made to the advertorial mock-up in the website... We need to remove the blue stamp that says 'Janji Ditepati, Mulai 1 Januari 2013, Budget 2013' as the management does not agree with the display of it on the website," added Fairul, who is also a committee member of the Youth Communications Package that is responsible of the rebate implementation.
However, when asked on RM500 ceiling price placed on the rebate, Fairul refused to comment.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on Sept 28 under Budget 2013, announced a rebate of RM200 for the purchase of one 3G smartphone for youths aged 21 to 30, with a monthly income of RM3,000 and below or without monthly income, from authorised dealers under the Youth Communications Package.
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