The Communications and Multimedia Ministry plans to formula a bill to make compulsory for all new housing projects to be installed with Internet facility. Its minister, Gobind Singh Deo said through the proposed bill, the Internet facility would be categorised as a utility, just like electricity and water supply at home.
“If (Internet) it becomes a ‘basic human right’, it can be categorised as a utility – there’ll be a need for all houses to be connected with fiber,” he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech on behalf of his ministry in the Dewan Rakyat today. He said this in response to a suggestion by Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said (BN-Kuala Krau) to make compulsory for developers to install broadband facility at their housing projects. Meanwhile, Minister Gobind Singh Deo in another statement said today he has asked Telekom Malaysia to submit a report on the awarding of a contract to a company of which Tan Sri Mokhzani Tun Mahathir is the chairman. “I have requested a report from TM. When I get that report, I will issue a statement. I asked (for the report) today. I ordered for the report to be sent to me on this matter,” he said to reporters at the Parliament lobby.
The media had reported that Opcom Holdings, of which Tan Sri Mokhzani is the chairman, had secured a contract worth RM11.16 million from Telekom Malaysia several days after the 14th General Election on May 9. The contract, for the period July 2, 2018, to Dec 31, 2019, is for the installation and restoration of the Unifi service. However, according to Opcom Holdings Bhd, the company was awarded the Telekom Malaysia broadband installation and restoration contract through open tender, and had been selected prior to the 14th general election. TM said the open tender for the Rakan Unifi contract took place in January, with the evaluation process ending in April. “TM’s board of directors approved the contract award in its sitting held on April 24,” the company told a local press.
Opcom yesterday reported to Bursa Malaysia that it had received a letter of award for the RM11.16 million Rakan Unifi contract on May 14, four days after Mokhzani’s father Dr Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as prime minister. TM said Opcom was among 19 contractors who were awarded the 17 month-long contract, which commenced on July 2. “We wish to reiterate that TM has a robust and transparent procurement process and the company upholds the highest code of conduct in corporate governance and integrity, and undergoes continuous improvement while adhering to industry best practices. “We are committed to maintaining the highest degree of integrity, transparency and accountability in the conduct of our business and operations,” it said. Opcom was founded by Mokhzani’s brother, Mukhriz, who is now the Kedah menteri besar. Mukhriz holds 25.2 percent of the firm’s shares.
According to The Star, Opcom’s shares have surged 135 percent since May.