KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — The Malaysian government would harm investor confidence in the country if it proceeds with a rumoured revision of the contract Ericsson won to develop 5G mobile broadband infrastructure, the envoys of five major trading partners said.

In a letter to Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, the ambassadors of the US and Japan, the high commissioners of the UK and Australia, and the head of the European Union Delegation to Malaysia said they have learned that Malaysia could potentially review the contract awarded to the Swedish telecommunications firm.

Malay Mail sighted a copy of the letter.

“This reconsideration does not appear tied to Ericsson or DNB’s performance to date. Many in the international business community in Malaysia and beyond — especially in innovative and high-tech companies — welcomed Malaysia’s tender process because it was seen as fair, transparent, financially viable, and attentive to security concerns.


“Revising past tenders should be approached with great caution and sufficient transparency so as not to undermine Malaysia’s good standing as an investment destination,” the five diplomats said.

They went on to urge Malaysia to maintain the contract awarded to Ericsson, saying this was vital to preserving investor confidence in the country and for its aim to be a hub for advanced technology and digital excellence.

Last year, the Malaysian government selected Ericsson over China’s Huawei to develop the country’s 5G network infrastructure, simultaneously going with a single wholesale network (SWN) model operated by Digital Nasional Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of the Finance Ministry.


Malaysia is already late in rolling out 5G, the next generation of mobile broadband technology, compared to regional rivals.

Yesterday, Opensignal released a report that showed this delay has caused Malaysia to be leapfrogged by Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines that had been behind the country in terms of average download speeds as recently as 2019.