The company was incorporated under OMNI (One Malaysia National Initiative) about 5 years ago. On the day of its launching, publicity was all over. The media attributed it to the government's effort to wire the whole nation by means of unifi and broadband network.
Syarikat Jalur Lebar Nasional or JALENAS was a big name then. The Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture through its agency MCMC were fast to score high credit for being part of the initiators.
Going by the names, everything should be in order as these people are well-experienced and are politically-attached. In other words, should anything goes wrong, the government is always there to look into the problem and solve it.
In 2010, JALENAS engaged two foreign experts to help boost its business. They are James Angelone as its CEO and Nichlas Sonesson as the chief technical officer.
Prior to joining JALENAS, Angelone - an American with 30 years of
international telecom and data communications industry experience, in
which he has successfully fulfilled senior executive leadership business
management roles with AT&T, Lucent Technologies,
PacketFront and Broadsoft - was Global Vice
President of Marketing and Sales for Samsung SDS.
Taking care of the company's financial is Raja Rahiman Raja Mushahar as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since
beginning of 2011. He is a CPA holder who started his career with Wespac
Australia. He then joined Pernas International Holding Berhad (PIHB) as
an accountant in 1994.
JALENAS, a Special Purpose Vehicle
Company (SPV) for High Speed Broadband Technology Sdn Bhd (HSBT), is tasked to design, build, own and operate an independent fixed line high speed
broadband and network infrastructure for Malaysia.
The project Phase 1 has commenced
in Kuantan in the first quarter of 2011. The plan is to deploy up to
30,000 homes passed in less than 2 years, and subsequently rolled-out to
other cities nationwide starting with Johor Bahru and Melaka.
The infrastructure of Jalenas uses 100 per cent fibre optic cables that
operates at high speed compared to the current copper lines and carries a
bandwidth capacity of 30Mbps to 100Mbps. The service providers of the
network are able to offer a wide range of services (Triple play, Voice
over internet protocol (VOIP), IPTV, video on demand, PC gaming, website
advertisement, e-learning, etc) to its subscribers or end-users with no
interruption compared to the use of satellite or wireless network.
This is a very lucrative and niche business. The government is with them. The MCMC is behind them too.
However, no news about the company got to the media since the last 2 years. The 2 'mat saleh' namely Angelone and Sonesson are said to have left early this year for claims such as being 'underpaid' or 'not fully-paid'.
I was also made to understand that some of JALENAS staff have left. Those who are still with the company only get half-month salary or two or three months without pay.
I called the company a few times asking whom should I talk to for some clarifications. But nobody seemed to help. My few questions which I e-mailed to JALENAS website also went unattended. My effort to fix an appointment with Sharkar and Elies did not get any response.
So, I sent out a text message to Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim last month alerting him of the situation. I believe he was not aware of it unless he received feedback or reports from MCMC and JALENAS itself. He, however, had instructed MCMC to look into it. That was a good move.
However, a check with JALENAS yesterday revealed nobody from MCMC went to JALENAS. Neither a call was made from MCMC.
To me, JALENAS is a national pride, a Bumiputera company capable of equating the might of the multinationals. However, nobody knew what actually happened or what went wrong. I believe the MCMC has been giving its fullest cooperation in ensuring that JALENAS runs smoothly.
Will someone please give some explanations?