Anti-graft group calls for probe into award of 5G spectrum despite govt ‘U-turn’

The 5G telecommunications spectrum was reportedly awarded to several firms without open tender. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Anti-graft group Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) today urged the finance ministry to probe the award of the 5G telecommunications spectrum to several firms allegedly without open tender despite the government’s decision yesterday to retract the order.

Labelling the situation a fiasco, TI-M president Muhammad Mohan said it could have “seriously violated public procurement policies”.

Even though Putrajaya cancelled the award of the project, he added, the damage had been done.

“It is shocking that such a massive project was even allowed to be negotiated directly. Where is the governance, compliance and control within the government procurement system?” he said in a statement.

According to a report by Singapore’s Straits Times (ST), the decision to award the 5G spectrum to the firms, including one controlled by tycoon Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary, was signed off by Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

Saifuddin subsequently said he had cancelled the order on legal and technical grounds as well as to ensure a transparent process.

Altel, a subsidiary of Syed Mokhtar’s Puncak Semangat, had been awarded 2x5MHz along with Telekom Malaysia.

ST said Maxis, Celcom and DiGi meanwhile were awarded 2x10MHz.

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