DNB to add RM5b cost to Malaysia, Pejuang says

by AZREEN HANI / pic by TMR FILE

PARTI Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) said the government would add more cost by RM5 billion through the Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) — a special purpose vehicle that will roll out the country’s 5G network.

Pejuang youth chief Abu Hafiz Salleh Hudin and the party’s treasury and communications bureau said in a joint statement that DNB has to rent other people’s owned infrastructures or build new infrastructure for the rollout.

“The costs can be reduced if telco companies are allowed to develop their own 5G network, as they already have the existing infrastructure and they can also share the network among themselves,” the party said.

“DNB will also pose other risks to the local industry and users such as the security and resilience of 5G networks that can lead to a single point of failure if this 5G network is not built and managed properly,” they added.

They said the government has to spend RM15 billion by way of debt or the issuance of government-guaranteed bonds.

“As DNB is fully owned by the Finance Ministry, it will be Malaysians who have to pay this debt if the financial management and operations of DNB fail.”

Pejuang questioned whether it is wise for the government to set up a new company in the same industry when it has strategic shareholding in Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), Axiata Group Bhd, Celcom Axiata Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd.

Windsor Place Consulting Pte Ltd principal Scott Minehane reportedly said Malaysia’s deployment of 5G may have several challenges to overcome mainly due to the size of its spectrum.

He added that among the issues that will occur include its impact on speed, which might be limited due to the single wholesale network (SWN) approach.

Pejuang also said Belarus, Mexico and Rwanda have incurred huge losses due to the SWN approach.