No plans to sell part of DNB to finance 5G project, says Yamani


KUALA LUMPUR: There are no plans to sell part of Digital National Berhad's (DNB) shares to local telecommunications companies to finance the development of the nation's 5G infrastructure project, said Yamani Hafez Musa.

"The issue of the sale of part of DNB shares to local telecommunications companies does not arise with regard to expenditure needed to develop the 5G infrastructure," the Deputy Finance Minister II said during his ministerial replies on debates on the Royal Address in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Sept 22).

Yamani was responding to suggestions by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (BN-Pekan) that shares in DNB be sold to telecommunications companies to help finance the multi-million national project.

Based on the recent tender process carried out by DNB for the project, Yamani said that cost for the project would be RM11bil covering a ten-year period compared to the initial estimates of RM15bil.

"The cost for the development of 5G infrastructure will be solely borne by DNB through market financing and their own finances without the need to involve allocation from the government," he added.

DNB was set up as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to undertake the development of the 5G infrastructure and network licensed to operate under the Communications and Multimedia Act.

DNB would be subjected to regulatory oversight by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

On Monday (Sept 20), Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar) proposed that the development of the 5G project by DNB come under scrutiny of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

He said this was necessary as the project involved billions and was crucial for the nation's future.

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