PETALING JAYA,Feb 10: The 150,000 laptops provided to poor students must be given for free, not on loan, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said today.
He said this was imperative as the funds for the laptops had already been approved under the 2021 budget.
“The move to loan laptops to these students would only burden the B40 even more,” he said, adding that the laptops should also be distributed quickly.
It was announced during the tabling of the 2021 budget that pupils from lower-income families would be provided laptops for online learning under the “Cerdik” scheme.
This initiative would be funded by government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies, all of which had committed to contribute RM150 million to the programme.
Speaking after an event in Port Dickson where he donated 1,000 smartphones to students, Anwar said the B40 had been victims of indifference and had suffered job losses and income cuts.
He stressed that loaning laptops to children from the B40 community, instead of giving it outright, would affect their education in the long term.