Petaling Jaya: More than 13,000 people have applied for the RM200 smartphone rebate, with many more flooding the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) website seeking information on the scheme.
Response to the information on the Youth Communications Package was so good that a spokesman apologised for the time taken to access the website.
"We've received more than 13,000 applications as at 6pm. The response has been overwhelming.
"Please bear with us. We are trying to fix the problem and hopefully it will be better tonight," he said yesterday, adding that they were trying to increase bandwidth.
He added that they expected around 50,000 unique visitors a day for the rebate.
The Star frontpaged yesterday the announcement that the RM500 price limit to qualify for the rebate had been lifted.
Initially, the MCMC listed 23 phone models for the scheme which was announced in Budget 2013.
It is offered on a first-come-first-serve basis to 1.5 million eligible youths aged between 21 and 30, and who earn less than RM3,000 a month.
In a text message, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the Government did not want to limit the offer to smartphones worth RM500 and below.
"This is to conform to the Budget speech which did not specify the models and price range as well as the substantial reaction of the public at large," he said.
Meanwhile, the MCMC spokesman said they were working with the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to ensure people do not lie about their salary when applying for the rebate.
He added that authorised mobile phone dealers would be able to check if the applicants were registered with MCMC via a special intranet connection.
Malaysians took to Twitter to give the thumbs-up to the decision.
"At last the Government has heard us. Now I can apply for the smartphone rebate. I want an iPhone please! Thanks @NajibRazak," tweeted Siti Najwa Ahmad (@SitiNajwaAhmad).
User @bapaksingle said it was a sign that the Barisan Nasional government "listen(ed) to the rakyat's grouses and act(ed) on them".
Those interested in applying for the rebate can go to nbi.skmm.gov.my.--Courtesy of The Star Online