Prime minister Anwar Ibrahim said today that his administration will conduct a review on the state-owned 5G network that was introduced by the previous government. Speaking during the post-cabinet press conference in Putrajaya earlier, he stated that there were issues identified with the RM 11 billion contract awarded to Swedish telecommunications firm Ericsson by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) .
“It needs to be reviewed because it was not done in a transparent manner,” Anwar said. “There is no proper tendering process.” He added that the 5G plans by the previous government will be evaluated to ensure the strict financial procedures are followed and are done correctly.
The prime minister also noted that the new administration is set to revise and improve the Budget 2023 which was tabled in October. He elaborated that the budget was presented in Parliament by the previous government, and had not been passed in light of the recent general election. Anwar added that certain decisions made by the former administration will not be rolled back, but did not identify them.
Meanwhile, when asked regarding the 5G plans in a separate press conference earlier today, newly appointed minister of digital communications Fahmi Fadzil revealed that he has yet to be briefed on the latest update on the matter. He also noted that he is looking forward to meeting representatives from DNB.
Previously, the minister had asked the National Accounts Committee to review the 5G plan over alleged discrepancies in the terms of the contract. Fahmi also explained that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Council (MCMC) under its jurisdiction is only responsible for spectrum distribution.
“I want to hear directly from DNB with regards to the issue of spectrum distribution,” he said. “Whatever my personal sentiments before, the situation now is I’m the minister in charge, so it’s something that I will have to refer to the Cabinet and seek some instructions.”