Rihanna IBB

Only Sorry You Got Caught

Recently Rihanna’s song ‘Take a Bow’ has been playing in my head.

Specifically the part where the lyrics that go..

‘Don’t tell me you’re sorry ‘cause you are not

Baby when I know you’re only sorry you got caught’

The song is playing in my head not because of any random reasons, but was agitated by the recent U-turn in the recent case of Malaysia’s 5G spectrum permits allocation.

And the U-turn reversal happened so quickly.

Just within 24 hours of various media outlets exposing that the current (backdoor) government’ had quietly allocated the lucrative 5G spectrum to a several telcos WITHOUT going through the supposed tender processes, Communications Minister Saifuddin quickly issued out a press statement saying that the allocation has been retracted.

Apparently MCMC has been ordered to cancel and review the allocation in a press release entitled

‘PEMBATALAN ARAHAN & PENENTUAN BERKENAAN PENGGUAAN SPEKTRUM DI DALAM JALUR FREKUENSI 700MHZ, 900MHZ DAN 2600MHZ’

(By the way, why do so many government press statements annoyingly include BOLD TEXT? It’s hard to read and ….sorry, I digressed.)

Anyway, fact is that the highly crucial milestone decision of 5G spectrum award was already done quietly some 2 weeks ago in mid-May…and then only met with swift Ministerial retraction within a very short time from when it was exposed.

By the way, all the media reports came with details that alluded to cronyism, you know the usual involvement of Syed Moktar’s company Altel and et cetera…well you can’t blame anyone when Rihanna’s tune quickly comes playing along.

More so especially, when the Minister’s press release is in a language tone that almost seems like he was was putting the slip-up/ blame on regulator MCMC by ordering them to immediately cancel the freshly announced 5G awards due to technical and legal issues.

Come on. It doesn’t matter how recent you’ve only been the Communications Minister. The fact that the rollout of 5G is a major national infrastructure focus and the primary portion of the RM22 billion National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan, it is just unbelievable that you were not aware and on top of the decision made.

I remember clearly that under the previous government, the authorities decided that in the name of progress and fair nationwide economic development – that the 5G deployment would be managed in a way that is not revenue-centric, to a ‘consortium of carriers’ and so forth.

This was despite fact that 5G technology will be the underlying driver for billions of dollars in value creation for new businesses opportunities in multiple sectors.

IT BYTES BACK Says: Well, at least the decision has been reversed. Whether it was due to the surmount of public outcry and criticism from opposition parties…it is hoped that PN doesn’t get caught with its pants down again as Rihanna also sang in the same song…”You’re so ugly when you cry. Please, just cut it out.”