Lawmaker wants 5G contract to be discussed by PAC

Lembah Pantai MP urges the PAC to investigate the terms of the bid versus the terms of the actual contract

by AZREEN HANI / pic by TMR FILE

LEMBAH Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil is requesting the implementation of the 5G network by Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), particularly the contract signed with Ericsson, to be brought up to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The Pakistan Harapan lawmaker claimed that there is a “possible discrepancy” in terms at a bid-level than the terms in the final contract signed between DNB and Ericsson.

In a letter to the PAC dated March 23, Fahmi is requesting the PAC to immediately investigate the terms of the bid versus the terms of the actual contract, by initiating proceedings on the matter, involving calling all relevant parties as soon as possible.

“On March 2, 2022, Reuters news agency published a news item titled “US says Ericsson breached 2019 deal by failing to properly disclose Iraq misconduct ”, in which Ericsson allegedly failed to disclose misconduct and failure to comply in Iraq, as well as allegations of conduct corruption in China, Vietnam and Djibouti.

“This has raised concerns which led me to raise the issue in my debate on March 3, 2022, by requesting that a thorough investigation was conducted into the 5G contract that DNB had awarded to Ericsson,” he said in the letter.

“If true, this issue should be made public to the Dewan Rakyat because it involves the interests of the people and the people’s money,” he added.

In his speech at the Dewan Rakyat early this month, Fahmi also urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to probe the collaboration between DNB and Ericsson, saying that based on a news report, the telco had allegedly breached pacts and had compliance issues in a deal in Iraq in 2019.

He said in that report, Ericsson was accused by the US Department of Justice of breaching terms of the 2019 deal with prosecutors, by failing to properly disclose misconduct and compliance failures in Iraq.

In refuting these allegations, Ericsson has asserted that its 5G contract with DNB was won fairly, based on its leading and competitive solutions.

The Swedish multinational telecommunications giant said it is committed to ensuring that the DNB network becomes a showcase of the best that 5G can deliver in the region.

The 5G contract, according to DNB in July 2021, was awarded following the strictest standards of governance as advised and facilitated by EY Consulting, Ericsson said in a statement.

DNB had said Ericsson’s offer was judged to be the most competitive as it ranked first in all three key components of the tender evaluation criteria.