PETALING JAYA: The original Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) share distribution contract agreed to by the government and the Cabinet needs to be redrawn now that two mobile network operators (MNO) have pulled out, says communications and multimedia minister Annuar Musa.
He said the process could take up to two weeks as more discussion was needed on redistributing the shares now that there was no longer a majority.
“One way is for the four others (MNOs) to be given larger shares. However, this will take time as they will need to discuss it with their respective board members,” he said at a press conference.
Annuar said another possibility was to invite other private telco companies to take up the remaining shares.
Yesterday, finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz confirmed that the ministry will only hold a 30% share in DNB. It originally owned 100% of the company.
When asked whether the remaining 70% will be divided among the remaining MNOs, Zafrul said it was still being considered.
Zafrul yesterday said that Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd (YES) have obtained approval from their board members and were ready to sign an agreement to subscribe to DNB shares for the 5G rollout in Malaysia.
Digi.com Bhd and Celcom Axiata Bhd, meanwhile, still needed board approval on whether to increase their equity stake in DNB, he said.
It was previously reported that Maxis and U Mobile had declined the offer to take up a stake in DNB.
Annuar also stressed that the government will not force the two MNOs that backed out to take up any shares in DNB, stating that the 5G rollout would move forward with the other four MNOs accordingly.
“We are responsive to the needs of the public and will do our best to ensure that the majority of the shares are owned by private MNOs,” he said, adding that his ministry did not want this temporary setback to delay the 5G rollout which is set to begin this month.
“If not this month, then early October.”
Annuar said, however, that any delay would not impede the government’s plans to provide 80% of the country with 5G coverage by 2024.
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