MoE refutes YTL Communications’ claim of breaching Internet service contract

The ministry says it has not breached any obligations with the telco as the contract ended on June 30


THE Education Ministry (MoE) has refuted YTL Communications Sdn Bhd’s claim that the ministry has breached contractual obligations.

The latter’s claim was made following the MoE’s appointments of three telecommunications companies (telcos) for the interim Internet services for 1BestariNet.

Its secretary general Datuk Dr Mohd Gazali Abas (picture) said the ministry did not breach any obligations with the telco as the previous contract for 1BestariNet with YTL Communications ended on June 30.

“YTL Communications was awarded to commence Phase 1 of 1BestariNet from Dec 13, 2011, to June 30, 2016,

including the seven times extension. The telco also had been awarded Phase 2, which was extended between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2019.

“Therefore, the allegations that the MoE had breached the contract obligations and has been unfair to them are false,” he said in a statement.

Mohd Ghazali said the ministry had called out the main telcos, including YTL Communications, to explain the interim service needed for the remaining year, until a new tender has been issued.

“Some have responded while some have not. For the interim contract, we appointed three telcos, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Celcom Axiata Bhd and Maxis Bhd, who have presented the best coverage for the service,” he said.

He added that although YTL Communications’ contract has expired, the MoE had considered the telco’s request to continue using its network towers currently located near the schools to avoid disruption to their commercial users.

“However, we are going to use its network towers for three months until Sept 30 and there are other requirements that they need to meet,” he said.

For the total project of 1BestariNet, including Phase 1 and Phase 2, the government had paid about RM3.8 billion to YTL Communications.

The telco, which is 60%-owned by YTL International Bhd, said last week that it was taken by “complete surprise” when it was left out in the MoE’s award for the interim services that went to the three telcos and Internet service providers.

“It was our legitimate expectation that we would be given an extension of the contract into the next phase.

“We view the MoE’s actions as being in breach of their contractual obligations to us. Disappointingly, they have not acted in good faith with respect to what we have been informed and what has been actually implemented,” the company noted in a statement.

YTL Communications said it invested over RM4 billion in building the infrastructure in schools for a 15-year 1BestariNet project, which it won in an open tender in 2011.

The scope of work included providing a total learning solution comprising Internet connectivity, security and the Frog Virtual Learning Environment, the company said.