Over the past few days, there were concerns raised about Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)’s supposed project to install 200 5G smart lamp posts worth RM30.75 million. The scrutiny began when a Bursa Malaysia announcement revealed that Sarawak Consolidated Industries Berhad (SCIB) was awarded a DBKL Integrated Smart Lamp Pole Replacement project by Ennova Sdn Bhd for one year.
Yesterday, it was reported that DBKL has denied SCIB was appointed to carry out some work for DBKL and they have not authorised any third party to appoint SCIB nor any of its subsidiaries to carry out projects for DBKL.
The statement by DBKL attracted further criticism from DAP Members of Parliament and netizens as the supposed budget of RM30.75 million to replace 200 lamp posts is seen as expensive. This calculates to RM153,750 per pole.
Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil has called upon DBKL to explain who is paying for the 5G lamp post project and if Ennova is allowed to subcontract the work to SCIB. He also questioned “If Ennova did not do this work, why did DBKL not pay directly to SCIB? Why give a contract to Ennova if it is not Ennova who does the work?.”
5G lamp post project fully funded by Ennova
To address public concerns, Ennova Chief Operating Officer (COO) Megat Rozaimi Jaafar said the project award to SCIB does not involve public funds and the company has no links to DBKL, whatsoever. He said the company needed to clear the air as the matter gave the impression that DBKL was paying for the project. He denies that the company received a RM30 million contract just to replace street lamps.
He clarified that the 5G street lamp project is fully funded by Ennova and it involves engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning of 200 units of lamp poles or monopoles in Kuala Lumpur. Ennova has given SCIB a contract to build and operate 200 lamp posts on behalf of the company from June 2022 until May 2023.
In exchange, DBKL will receive rent between RM600 to RM1,000 per pole depending on size and height. He explained Ennova is a telecommunications infrastructure company that has been in operation since 2011. It has received authorisation from DBKL to undertake replacement works with the total cost and investments to be borne by the company for five years and there’s an option to renew for another subsequent two years.
Megat also explained there are 29 companies that have received similar authorisations from DBKL to replace existing street lamp posts with new dual-function units that double as telecommunications transmitters. It is estimated to cost RM150,000 for each pole which includes the cost of land survey fees, agreement with local authorities, construction and approval from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
The 5G smart lamp post project is meant not only to illuminate the streets of Kuala Lumpur but also to help increase 5G coverage in the city. The infrastructure is integrated with 5G towers and it acts as a repeater that can be leased out to telecommunications companies. The rental approach will generate revenue to cover the rental costs to DBKL. Besides telecommunications, the lamp posts can be utilised to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and small advertisement boards.
Installing 5G radios on public infrastructure such as lamp posts is seen as a fast and affordable option to accelerate 5G deployment in dense urban areas. It takes up a significantly smaller footprint and it can tap on the existing power source that powers up the lamp posts.
[ UPDATE 13/06/2022 19:00 ] SCIB has released a new statement today to provide clarity on its scope of work with Ennova. According to the company, their deliverables include site clearing, excavaction, reinforced concrete footing structure, laying all reinforcement concrete, bolts & nuts, and plates on all mild steel structures. Their scope also includes perimeter chain-link fencing, earthworks, M&E works such as wiring, switch boxes, connection to conduits, and installation of monopole.
It added that all construction costs of the poles including the rental of each erected pole are borne by Ennova in accordance with the agreed rental price between Ennova and DBKL. It said that it wasn’t aware of any funding or financing agreement for the contract by DBKL.