KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin has claimed that discussions relating to the controversial fifth-generation (5G) project dealings, involving Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), were done in secrecy.

The Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister claimed that he was kept in the dark over the discussions between former communications and multimedia minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah and Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

“Only the ministers discussed a project that involved almost RM20bil, without discussing with their subordinates. Not even the deputy minister knows.

“So, that is why while I was answering in Parliament, I did not have the information about the discussion between the ministers because it was not relayed to me,” he told a press conference on Wednesday (Dec 15).

However, he said although Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek was aware of the ministers’ meeting, the message was not relayed to him.

“In the future, they need to tell the deputy as well as the rakyat.

“This project is a rakyat’s project and involves about RM20bil. And there is an issue of monopoly. We want a mitigation plan and risk management.”

Zahidi also said he does not know why Saifuddin did not inform him about the discussions then with the Finance Ministry.

He quipped that it might be because Saifuddin was formerly from PKR while he is from Umno.

“So, if possible, do not be secretive. If you want to be secretive, the minister should answer in Parliament, not me,” said Zahidi.

The government, through DNB, will roll out the 5G network nationwide over the next 10 years.

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