Fahmi: DNB board of directors to be announced soon

PETALING JAYA: The names for the state-owned 5G operator, Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) board of directors have already been submitted on April 15, says Fahmi Fadzil (pic).

The Communications Minister said the list of names were submitted by all the telecommunications companies and mobile network operators (MNOs).

"We are in discussions with the Treasury secretary-general Datuk Johan Mahmood Merican, who has informed us that the names are in the final stage of vetting.

"Soon,we will be able to make an announcement on the new DNB board of directors.

"Either at the end of this month or early next month, we will also be able to make a big announcement on the direction of the 5G network," he told the press at the Lembah Pantai Raya open house at IWK Eco Park, Pantai Dalam on Sunday (April 21).

Fahmi pointed out that the recent media reports on the 5G implementation status and the on-going discussion were inaccurate.

He also confirmed that a meeting with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, himself, the Digital Minister and Malaysia Multimedia and Communication Commission chairman would be held.

The meeting, Fahmi said, was to carefully consider the possible incentive measures that can be given to increase the use of 5G implementation among the industries.

He said the acceptance among ordinary people for commercial use was good but did not have the latest numbers, however from the previous numbers, it has been encouraging.

"But we want to examine what dedicated efforts are needed for the industrial sector because in the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP), the digital core aspect will play a catalyst for industrial growth, especially those driving the economic growth of our country.

"Even at today’s convention (PKR 25th Anniversary), the Prime Minister said Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) was higher that neighbouring countries

"But at the same time, there is a lot we need to continue in making Malaysia the main destination for investment from abroad, whether for the semiconductor sector or special oleochemicals and Malaysia's data centre sector getting recognition internationally," he said.

Separately on the Tik Tok as well as social media ban for children aged 13 years and below, Fahmi said they have met with people from Tik Tok, Meta and Telegram.

As far as Meta was concerned they managed to cover all of its platforms including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on several issues, and are awaiting their plans, he added.

"The issue is that these platforms ask everyone to prove that they are of the age (consent) or ages that they have indicated on the platform. But, that's not the reality.

"So, we have to wait for these social media to revert back to us first. We expect that by early May, we will have some announcements to discuss with all social media platforms specifically for the safety of children online," he said.

In a statement Saturday (April 20), DNB said its tender and procurement processes were structured according to the strictest governance standards and best practices.

DNB was responding to a Channel News Asia (CNA) article entitled "Malaysia's billion-dollar 5G roll-out stumbles as deal breaks down between powerful telcos, state-owned operator", published on Friday (April 19), and subsequently reported by other media outlets.

DNB said the article alleged that it had not been transparent in its internal operations over contracts awarded to third-party vendors, in particular for Ericsson's 5G network equipment, software procurement and "a potentially lucrative cloud services platform".

DNB denied allegations of not being transparent in its internal operations and rejected the insinuation of any impropriety in governance and procurement practices.

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