MCMC denies Mukhriz-linked firm the biggest beneficiary of internet connectivity plan

Ragananthini Vethasalam

THE Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has said no one company will be the biggest beneficiary of the multi-billion ringgit National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP).

Markets have been abuzz with speculation that Opcom Holdings Bhd, which was co-founded by Mukhriz Mahathir, could be a beneficiary of the initiative as its shares had recently seen aggressive buying by investors

The Kedah menteri besar is also a substantial shareholder of the company that manufactures fibre-optic cables and cable-related products. Meanwhile, Mukhriz’s brother, Mokhzani Mahathir, was previously the executive chairman of the company until his resignation in May on personal grounds. 

MCMC said in a statement today that the NFCP comprises several infrastructure projects, including commercial ones which are funded by licence holders.

“The project also takes into account the use of different types of technologies. On that note, there is no one particular company which is only able to provide a specific form of technology that can become the largest beneficiary of the NFCP. 

“The technology providers (companies) will be decided by the licence holders and not the government and the MCMC. 

“Hence, it is inaccurate to name Opcom as the largest beneficiary from the NFCP,”

The MCMC also denied the NFCP is a mega project. It is instead a national plan which highlights the strategies, aims and actions that is to be taken to ensure that there is strong, sufficient and high-quality digital connectivity in the country.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng recently announced that an investment of RM21.6 billion will be required for the initiative, which will run from 2019 to 2023. 

MCMC said the amount is an estimate and may change as the NFCP is improvised from time to time. 

As announced in Budget 2019, the government will kickstart the NFCP with an initial funding of RM1 billion, which will be used to execute selected infrastructure projects in 2019. 

This entails projects which support the aims of the NFCP, including the expansion of mobile coverage and fibre optic connectivity. These projects are currently in the initial stages. 

MCMC said the implementation of the NFCP will be based on two pillars. The first will entail infrastructure projects that will be funded by universal service providers or commercially financed by licence holders under the Communication and Multimedia Act.

These projects, which uses technologies such as wireless, satellite and optics will be implemented nationwide in five years.

The second pillar covers the implementation of policies related to infrastructure provision. 

Tenaga Nasional Bhd successfully completed the NFCP pilot project in Jasin, Malacca earlier this year.

The NFCP replaces the previous government’s Nationwide Fiberisation Plan (NFP), which was to go on between 2017 and 2019 and connect some six million premisses to a fibre network. 

Broadnet Network Sdn Bhd, a relatively unknown company, was previously tasked to build the country’s high-speed broadband network infrastructure under the NFP. However, the company has since relinquished its licence

Broadnet, once included names such as former chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa and former communications and multimedia ministry secretary-general Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad, and corporate leaders as its board members. 

Former communications and multimedia minister Salleh Said Keruak previously said the Finance Ministry was to hold a golden share in Broadnet, and Ali was to be chairman of the company. – September 3, 2019.

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  • Lateefa Koya, you got yourself a lovely challenge and that is to investigate Opcom Holdings and its proxies to see if the Kedah Menteri Besar, Mukhriz Mahathir or any of his family members even owns 1 share in the company.
    Given public interest in the matter, please make an official statement when investigations are completed.

    Posted 4 years ago by Kampung Boy · Reply