Annuar: RM4.1b for Sarawak’s 4G to include other funds

The data from Budget 2022 only refers to the allocation from MoF’s consolidated fund

pic by TMR FILE

THE Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) clarifies that the RM4.09 billion cost for the upgrading of 4G Internet coverage in Sarawak is not subjected to funds from Budget 2022 alone.

Its minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa (picture) said the data from Budget 2022 only refers to the allocation from the Finance Ministry’s (MoF) consolidated fund.

“The expenditure of Sarawak’s 4G planning does not depend on financial resources from the Budget 2022 alone. There is also an off-budget allocation into it,” he told Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Annuar was responding to a question from Kota Melaka’s MP Khoo Poay Tiong on how KKMM wants to achieve Sarawak’s 4G coverage to 92% by 2022 as the expenditure is not tally to Budget 2022.

Annuar added that the RM700 million allocation from Budget 2022 only refers to expenditure for the Point of Presence (PoP) Fiberisation programme.

“This amount will be funded directly from the MoF’s consolidated fund which was presented in the Budget 2022,” he noted.

Concurrently, the process of upgrading broadband services in rural and remote areas will consider other funds such as the Universal Services Provision (USP) fund.

“This USP fund was created specifically to build a more balanced situation for the provision of broadband service infrastructure and part of the expenditure for Jendela (National Digital Network),” he said.

The RM4.09 billion cost also includes investments made by major mobile operators and telco companies where the amount is larger than the USP fund.

“So, the combination of these three funds for Sarawak has reached almost RM4 billion,” he added.

Previously, Annuar said Sarawak will have 4G coverage similar to other states when the process of upgrading the broadband infrastructure accelerates at the cost of RM4.09 billion, as reported by Bernama.