US and EU menace Malaysia over Huawei

The Malaysian government has reportedly received separate letters from the US and EU, warning it of negative consequences if it allows Huawei kit in the country’s 5G networks.

We know this thanks to the FT, which got a look at letters sent by US and EU envoys to the Malaysian government. The catalyst for the letters was the decision of the country to review the tender process for its state-backed national 5G network. Ericsson has originally been named sole kit vendor but a new government decided to review the process behind that decision on the grounds that it wasn’t transparent enough.

That obviously opens the door to Huawei once more, which has unsurprisingly been lobbying heavily for a piece of the action, according to the FT. Furthermore, Reuters reported last month (possibly a further cause for this flurry of correspondence) that Malaysia is thinking of creating a second state-run 5G network, for some reason, which would give Huawei yet another bite at the cherry.

“Senior officials in Washington agree with my view that upending the existing model would undermine the competitiveness of new industries, stall 5G growth in Malaysia, and harm Malaysia’s business-friendly image internationally,” wrote Brian McFeeters, the US ambassador to Malaysia. “The US and other countries prioritise a fair and transparent review process and contract sanctity, as does the international business community. Allowing untrusted suppliers in any part of the network also subjects Malaysia’s infrastructure to national security risks.”

Michalis Rokas, Ambassador and head of the EU delegation to Malaysia, more or less echoed that sentiment, noting money invested by the EU in Malaysia and inferring that making the wrong choice of 5G vendor may result in less of that in future.

These come over as not very veiled threats of severe economic and political consequences to Malaysia if it makes the wrong call on its telecoms vendors. Huawei doesn’t seem to have been specifically named but Chinese vendors are clearly the concern. Last month the US even went so far as to pass a law designed to compel its allies not to use Chinese telecoms kit.

Malaysia is presumably the recipient of similar correspondence from China, stressing how much it would be in its interests to allow Chinese vendors into its networks. So, right now, Malaysia can be viewed as the latest proxy in the great geopolitical battle of wills going on between the US and Chinese spheres of influence. Maybe that’s why a second network is being planned – one for each bloc. If so, it’s unlikely that solution will placate the US.


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  1. Avatar PEERMOHAMED IBRAMSHA 03/05/2023 @ 5:26 pm

    Who controls communication & media, controls the world!

  2. Avatar Genova 04/05/2023 @ 2:21 am

    I have problem trying to understand the logic: If Ericsson is the sole kit vendor, it will be fair competition. If there is another vendor bidding for it, it will not be fair competition???

  3. Avatar Jim Anthony 04/05/2023 @ 4:55 am

    Holy jumping catfish! Cats out of the bag.

  4. Avatar Leng 04/05/2023 @ 5:14 am

    Who can trust USA ? USA has to do some soul searching first. Malaysia is a sovereign country why should Malaysia kowtow to USA? Malaysia won’t want to be a puppet like jap n South Korea.

  5. Avatar Eddie 04/05/2023 @ 5:41 am

    Malaysia is part of ASEAN, which practice neutrality. Only some of the countries in ASEAN refuse and try to slave to become US ally. To us as a Malaysian, we go for fair trade and whoever best in tech and cheapest, most favourable should win the contract.
    The article said US and EU threaten Malaysia should be ashamed of themselves. Its enough creating propaganda to smear China human rights (when in reality racism and risk to coloured people heavy in US) and yet trying oppresing small country like Malaysia to not practice fair trade. US and its supporters called China CCP and communist, but US is also isnt far away as authoritarian capitalist too. To be true democracy adopt Malaysian govt system which really democracy. To US, please improve your tech skill and business skill and to compete fairly and healthly. Dont use evil tactic to oppress your competitor…. Then you will gain more respect.

  6. Avatar FC 04/05/2023 @ 6:34 am

    Falsely accusing others, the thief shouts to catch the thief,

  7. Avatar Pendi 04/05/2023 @ 7:34 am

    USA cannot spying if using Huawei. Lol

  8. Avatar Kanasai 04/05/2023 @ 8:03 am

    US tech is going downward and it couldn’t catch up with Huawei ,China , a big country are sanctioning a small company Huawei isn’t it a big joke in the world. Why US are so scared of Huawei bcuz of Huawei technology thrice advanced than US and EU. So many decades US monopoly the world trade using USD for trading , now Asia your turn to change the ruling and don’t be a cow than people pulling your nose ring to walk ….

  9. Avatar BongM 04/05/2023 @ 3:06 pm

    Chinese want to get the South China Sea where Malaysia also own the part of it like Vietnam and Philippines.. So you.. Malaysian want to be friends with Chinese that want to get part of your territory???

  10. Avatar Khai 05/05/2023 @ 4:33 am

    Support China 5G only fund CCP prison more ughur Muslim minorities into re-education camp…

  11. Avatar BKHOO 05/05/2023 @ 5:37 am

    How to do any soul searching.. US does NOT have a heart never mind a soul.. heartless and soulless lead to headless decisions

  12. Avatar Robin 05/05/2023 @ 11:09 am

    It is important to note that the decision to allow or restrict Huawei’s participation in 5G networks is ultimately a sovereign decision for each country. However, countries may consider the opinions and warnings of other nations when making their own decisions.

    In Malaysia’s case, it will ultimately be up to the Malaysian government to decide whether or not to allow Huawei’s equipment in their 5G networks. They will have to weigh the potential benefits of Huawei’s technology against the concerns raised by the US and EU.

  13. Avatar JS 08/05/2023 @ 4:14 am

    it’s a good news. nobody wants ccp to brainwash us and threaten us in south china sea. while it’s true that CIA is also spying on us… who makes a better devil?? US just wanna do business in taikor-way, but ccp wants business and your land, and your mother, and all… go pro-ccp la… get ready for an alternative version of Tiananmen Sq, re-education camp, complete lockdown, and kowtow even harder to ccp… belum belum… the belt road initiative already conned us kaw kaw… go enjoy the debt trap.

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