The Malaysian government’s re-evaluation of its 5G plans has become a source of contention between the country’s relations with China and countries like the U.S., EU, and UK. The Ericsson contract that was previously approved by the previous government enabled Malaysia to launch a state-owned network most mobile operators have agreed to use. This allowed for lower costs while still providing reliable services. In an effort to find a resolution from this debate, talks are ongoing between stakeholders from multiple sides in order to understand the security implications of such a process. The finality of these discussions is expected by the end of March 2021. At this time two possible outcomes will be decided: either another company builds a rival network or DNB (the current 5G network operator) will privatize its services. Seeing as Huawei is contending for a role in Malaysia’s 5G network after facing export restrictions on American technology and a ban from other markets, it remains to be seen whether they will be chosen or if another provider will take their place instead. Even if both parties come to an agreement, questions around the cost efficiency, consumer pricing, and potential security risks could arise anew depending on which path is chosen. To some, this model appears to be a feasible blueprint for other nations to implement; however, others have pointed out that having more than one provider can lead to higher prices for consumers rather than cost savings. It also remains to be seen how Malaysia handles maintaining strong ties with both China and Washington D.C.. Ultimately, whichever path is taken must provide citizens with answers on all fronts before they can begin using 5G at full capacity.
Regardless of the outcome, there is a need for Malaysia to take into account all outsight parties in order to ensure efficient and effective implementation. The government must also strive to protect its citizens from potential security threats that could arise from a 5G network setup. As such, it is clear the Malaysian government has an important role in navigating this process as they balance the interests of all parties while attempting to remain in good standing with their international counterparts. By taking these considerations into account, Malaysia can not only meet its 5G objectives but also maintain strong relationships with its allies and partners. It will be interesting to see how this situation is handled in the coming months and ultimately, what the result will be. In conclusion, the Malaysian government’s re-evaluation of their 5G plans has created a complex situation in which many stakeholders are involved. While discussions are ongoing to provide clarity on security issues, financial considerations and potential threats for consumers must also be taken into account in order to ensure that whichever path is chosen is satisfactory for all parties. Ultimately, the Malaysian government has an important role in this process that requires them to navigate a web of international relationships while also protecting their citizens from potential harm. In the end, it is clear that there is much at stake for Malaysia as they take on this endeavor and only time will tell what path they choose when it comes to 5G.