The Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC) or better known by its bahasa acronym SKMM, has recently announced that the government will be offering a ‘rebate’ of RM200 of a list of ‘selected’ smartphones for youthsaged 21 to 30 years old. The program called the ‘Youth Communication Package’ or Pakej Kommunikasi Belia (PKB) has come under tremendous scrutiny from both the general public, and even members of the ruling government as well.
Youths who qualify for the RM200 rebate will be able to purchase ‘selected’ 3G smartphones costing up to RM500 from selected dealers and agents appointed by service providers. With the rebate, they are expected to pay no more than RM300 to own a new 3G smartphone. “The idea is to spread the incentive across to those who do not yet use smartphones. We really want to help those who cannot afford to change phones to upgrade from their old 2G phones to a basic 3G smartphone.
The Malaysian cyberspace was immediately set abuzz when the announcement was made. The twitter outburst over the scheme is primarily on the price cap of Rm500 because when the Prime Minister announced this back when the budget was tabled, there was no mention about the RM500 price cap on the phone. Even UMNO youth chief Khairy got in on the action–requesting the government not limit the price of the phones, even after the SKMM ‘clarified’ why it was offering the rebate to only those purchasing phones under Rm500. (apparently we don’t offer rebates to the rich)