The back and forth between the Ministry Of Education and YTL Communications continues and it looks like it’s becoming a classic episode of he said, she said.
To recap, it all started when the Ministry supposedly pulled a fast one on YTLC by announcing a fresh tender on the much maligned 1BestariNet project and then subsequently dropping the company. This in turn led to YTLC issuing a statement calling out the ministry for ghosting the company before shedding some light on what YTLC referred to as “the facts”. Not happy with “the facts”, the Ministry then put out a statement of their own, shedding even more light on the situation and quite frankly making YTLC look they’re on the ropes.
Today, YTLC has clapped back with a fresh statement and a point by point rebuttal of what was said during the Ministry’s media briefing last week.
In what is looking increasingly like an ugly break up between teenage lovers, YTLC maintains that the towers set up for the 1BestariNet project were never commercialised and that their free ride on electricity for the towers is all part of the agreement they made with the Ministry.
Other highlights from YTLC’s statement include the revelation that things such as joint performance reviews, changes in tech, basic educational needs and price would be in constant discussion prior to the expiry of each phase and before both parties agreed on the next phase.
“This was an in-built mechanism to address any perceived areas of concern of the contract to ensure they would not be carried forward into the next phase.” the statement said. This would explain why the company is in utter shock at the sudden dismissal of their services. If the government was unhappy with YTLC’s services, it should have been brought up at one of the reviews.
I have to give this to YTLC. The Ministry was obviously unhappy with the subpar service and they should’ve been transparent about it and brought it up with YTLC to have discussions. This begs the question though-
What are the agreed upon SLA’s (service level agreements) and when were they agreed on?
In their statement, YTLC insists that it has met all of it’s SLA’s and touches a little on what they are but we’re left in the dark as to when these SLA’s were actually agreed on. Was it before or after the new Government came into power? Some of the deals made by the previous regime were highly questionable. That being said, YTLC’s YES network was actually found to be one of the worst networks in Malaysia, so maybe the bar for the SLA’s was set really low? That would explain the Ministry’s unwillingness to continue with YTLC in spite of all SLA’s being met.
Going back to the statement, the company also insisted that they did not ask for any special preference for providing this free service, which was requested by the Ministry in the first place and that “as no joint review was undertaken as required under the contract and no open tender called, we regard this as a breach of our contract.” YTLC did however stop short of stating that it would take legal action against the ministry.
In all honesty, it seems to me that YTLC is making a big deal out of this.
First of all, the deal was made with the previous government and things such as free electricity for their telecommunications towers just isn’t going to stand anymore. On top of that, TM, Celcom and Maxis are three of the biggest ISPs and thus, arguably have better coverage. Furthermore, it’s not like the open tender isn’t happening. The aforementioned ISPs were awarded a 6 month contract. The Ministry will begin calling for the fresh open tender of internet services to schools in the next few months, of which YTLC is invited to join.
If anything, YTLC’s biggest problem seems to be their inability to comprehend how the Ministry could ghost them when they offered to provide the service for free. But the whole offer just reeks of the “I’ll change” card that is played before every break up. You simply know that it ain’t going to happen. Of course, there are contracts in place and this isn’t a romantic relationship, but it does seem like the Ministry is playing the role of fed up lover with how it’s packing up shop.
I also can’t help but to think that YTLC’s insistence that they’re the victim in this situation is a little suspect. If the Ministry has breached contract, why not begin legal proceedings and have faith in the justice system to sort all of this out? It’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out.
You can read YTL’s statement in full at the links below.