KWAN use questioned in lower house

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH

Lawmakers at the lower house today insisted on the justifications for the government to tap into the National Trust Fund (KWAN) fund for the procurement of vaccines.

 

Semporna MP Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, among the MPs who raised the matter, argued that by tapping into the fund, the government is putting the financial safeguard of the future generations on the line.

“We have heard how the Health Ministry and Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry spend the money for vaccine and pandemic management, but I could not see how the allocation is actually being used.

“Recently, the government tapped a quarter from KWAN for vaccine procurement without tabling the plan to the Parliament. It is the fund for our future generation,” he told Dewan Rakyat.

He added that the government also does not seek a different alternative in sourcing revenue, giving an example of the 5G implementation.

“Countries such as South Korea and Thailand are doing it in a different kind of form to generate income. However, from the 5G services available today, which could generate up to US$3 billion, Malaysia has to spend RM11 billion to build 5G infrastructure,” he said.

He asked why the 5G spectrum is not auctioned but is given directly to the Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) when by auctioning, the government could collect more money, instead of tapping into the KWAN fumd.
 
“If auctioned, it is estimated that the government can collect almost RM3billion – RM5billlion, well, there is no need to tap into the KWAN fund,” he said.
 
He also queried for the government’s contracts that have been issued since 2020 and the value of direct negotiations contracts.
 
Last year,Thailand’s telecoms regulator raised 100.52 billion baht ($3.2 billion) in 5G spectrum auctions.

Thailand’s top mobile operator, Advanced Info Service Pcl ADVANC.BK, snapped up 23 licenses across all three spectrum bands from the auctions.