Sacofa denies getting RM1b job to build Sarawak ICT infrastructure

Sacofa managing director Mohamed Zaid Zaini says the company has not been called to discuss the construction of telecommunications towers, April 11, 2017 — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 ― Sacofa Sdn Bhd dismissed today claims by an Opposition leader that it has been awarded a RM1 billion contract to build Sarawak’s ICT infrastructure.

"We have not been called and sat down with the state government so we have not been asked to build the towers," Sacofa managing director Mohamed Zaid Zaini said.

He said the idea to build the towers and ICT infrastructure was just being hatched at the highest level of the state government.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen previously accused the state of practising “cronyism” by awarding the private company the contract to build 3,800 telecommunications towers and other ICT infrastructures as the state government's drive towards digital economy over the next five years.

Chong argued that the ICT company is 50 per cent owned by Cahaya Mata Sarawak Berhad, a company linked to the family of Sarawak governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, and should not have been allocated with any state fund for the development of ICT infrastructure.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg, at a recent International ICT Infrastructure and Digital Economy Conference, had announced that the state government would build ICT infrastructure and telecommunication towers costing about RM1 billion.

At today's media briefing, Zaid Zaini said Sacofa, if given the job to build 3,800 telco towers, would have no problem completing the task within five years, to add to its existing 1,200 towers.

"We can, but we need to have the necessary set of plans," he said, adding the company has 260 specialised contractors at its disposal to complete the job.

He said the construction of these structures will comply with all internationally accepted guidelines and is based on the highest safety and engineering integrity standards practised in the industry.

Zaid Zaini also said that the company would have no problem in increasing the speed of transmitting data to one or two terabits per second as envisaged by the chief minister.

He said all it requires is for Sacofa to install specialised electronics to increase the speed.