Probe DNB-Ericsson 5G partnership for corruption, irregularities, urges MP

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition MP Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) wants a probe into the partnership between Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) and Swedish multinational telecommunications company Ericsson following a news report that Ericsson had allegedly breached pacts and had compliance issues.

In debating the King’s address, Fahmi cited a Reuters report dated today which said Ericsson had been accused by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) of breaching terms of a 2019 deal with prosecutors by failing to properly disclose misconduct and compliance failures in Iraq.

Reuters reported Ericsson as saying that US authorities had determined that it had failed to make sufficient disclosures about its activities in Iraq before entering a deferred prosecution agreement in 2019, with the DoJ to resolve a probe into years of alleged corruption in China, Vietnam and Djibouti.

It is also said to be at the centre of a scandal over possible payments to Islamic State.

Fahmi called on local enforcement authorities, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), to conduct a full investigation to identify possible elements of corruption in the partnership.

“This reminds us of 1MDB and Goldman Sachs. Are we going to see the same thing with DNB and Ericsson?” he asked, while also calling on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to conduct a full audit of the partnership

DNB signed a 10-year partnership with the Swedish multinational corporation last year to deliver a nationwide 5G single wholesale network for the country.

Speaking on DNB’s operations, Fahmi asked the finance ministry to explain how much of taxpayer money had been injected into DNB and how much had been spent on aggressive campaigning in the media, acquiring office units in Menara TRX, and participating in an ongoing conference in Barcelona, Spain.

“The (5G) project is yet to start, and yet DNB has started to spend a lot (of money),” he said, calling on the PAC to conduct a full audit on the ministry’s special purpose vehicle.

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