PETALING JAYA: The Celcom-Digi merger needs to be studied in detail by the government to ensure there will be benefits to consumers, and not just the giant entities, said Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan.
In a Facebook post today, Mohamad, also known as Tok Mat, called for an extensive government assessment on the merger’s impact on national importance, the dynamics of the telecommunications industry, and its compliance to competition laws.
Recently it was announced that the Celcom Axiata Bhd and Digi.Com Bhd merger would be finalised in the next few months.
The merger is set to become the largest telecommunication service provider in the country if negotiations are successful.
The decision is expected to facilitate Celcom-Digi in expediting the launch of Malaysia’s 5G network.
Mohamad, however, said Malaysia would benefit more from a global-centric telecommunication company to explore the country’s potential in providing cross-border services.
“The Celcom-Digi merger does not seem to be formed for that purpose. Its playing field is still the Malaysian market, which is only moderately large,” he said.
Malaysia, he said, needs a player that prioritises the benefits and the needs of consumers in the era of “Internet of Everything”.
“For this to happen, a healthy competition should be supervised diligently, and market liberalisation should be highly considered.
“Having a gigantic telecommunication corporation may not be the only path to achieve that purpose,” he added.
Previously, Pekan MP and former prime minister Najib Razak also raised concerns over the planned merger, saying it should be brought to the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC).
He said that although the merger does not come under MyCC’s purview, the commission should be allowed to study it for pre-approval.