KUALA LUMPUR: Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said he will forward the country’s 5G rollout plan to the Cabinet by the end of March.

He said the Cabinet will discuss, deliberate and decide on the matter and the role of Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB).

DNB, which the Government owns, is responsible for building and managing the 5G network and acts as the single wholesale provider of 5G services.

Saying that DNB was now under the purview of his ministry, Fahmi added that the government will consider all the relevant stakeholders’ positions, ideas, thoughts and concerns, including contractual obligations that have been put into place.

“But also we need to access a way to ensure that the 5G rollout can be expedited and made unimpeded,” he told a forum organised by the Concorde Club here yesterday.

The Concorde Club is an informal grouping of senior editors which meets regularly with political leaders and key policymakers.

Concorde Club was initiated by Star Media Group advisor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai. Also present was Walter Fernandez, the editor-in-chief of Singapore-based Channel News Asia.

Fahmi also said his ministry would act on the Auditor General’s revelation of possible violations in channelling monies from the Digital Content Fund (DCF), which is under the National Film Development Corp (Finas).

He said investigations into any flouting of the law came under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and police, but said his ministry needed to act as well.

“I was quite shocked and very surprised at the issues raised in the Auditor General’s report.

“As far as the ministry is concerned, we want to ensure that these loopholes, whatever things that were taken advantage of at that time, are not repeated,” he added.

According to the AG’s Report 2021, RM4mil in funds from DCF were channelled to six companies connected to directors and committee members of the Finas board and their family members.

On the revised Budget 2023, Fahmi said his ministry had submitted its suggestions to the Finance Ministry.

He said one of his ministry’s key initiatives was to bridge the digital divide, particularly in relation to universal and Internet access.

Fahmi said about 3% of populated areas in the country needed to be connected, and these included Orang Asli posts and longhouses.