Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim Calls Meeting to Address Transparency Issues at Digital Nasional Bhd

Malaysian PM to hold meeting next week to address transparency concerns over state-owned 5G operator DNB's operations and procurement processes amid telco settlement talks.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim Calls Meeting to Address Transparency Issues at Digital Nasional Bhd

Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim Calls Meeting to Address Transparency Issues at Digital Nasional Bhd

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced on Friday that a meeting will be held next week to discuss issues related to Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), the country's single wholesale 5G network operator. The announcement comes amid allegations of a lack of transparency in DNB's internal operations and procurement processes for its 5G network rollout.

DNB has denied the allegations and rejected any claims of impropriety in its governance and procurement practices. The company stated that its tender and procurement processes are structured according to the strictest governance standards and best practices. DNB was responding to what it called "misleading allegations" made by Singapore-based Channel News Asia (CNA) in an article about Malaysia's 5G rollout.

The meeting called by PM Anwar Ibrahim is anticipated to resolve the questionable transparency surrounding DNB's operations, particularly the award of a contract to Ericsson to develop the 5G infrastructure, which was estimated to have cost close to RM5 billion (approximately $1.1 billion).

Why this matters: The transparency and proper governance of Malaysia's 5G rollout is vital for the country's digital transformation and economic competitiveness. Resolving any issues related to DNB's operations will be critical for ensuring the smooth and efficient deployment of 5G networks across Malaysia.

The Prime Minister also expressed confidence that the ongoing settlement agreement between DNB and Malaysia's five private telecommunications companies (telcos) regarding the 5G network could be resolved by next week. The telcos had signed a share subscription agreement to take up a collective 70% stake in DNB.

Despite the allegations, DNB emphasized that it remains focused on delivering a high-performing and reliable 5G network to accelerate Malaysia's digital transformation. The company stated, "DNB will hold a meeting next week to resolve the issues surrounding its operations and the 5G network rollout."

Key Takeaways

  • Malaysian PM to hold meeting next week on issues with 5G operator DNB
  • DNB denies allegations of lack of transparency in operations and procurement
  • Meeting aims to resolve transparency issues around DNB's Ericsson contract
  • Smooth 5G rollout critical for Malaysia's digital transformation and competitiveness
  • Settlement deal between DNB and telcos on 5G network could be resolved next week