In the face of mounting criticism over its handling of the country Universal Service Provision (USP) fund, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has clarified the current status of the fund. According to the Malay Mail, the regulator has confirmed that the USP fund has a current cash position stands at MYR4.53 billion (USD1.46 billion), of which MYR4.15 billion has been set aside to be spent on projects in 2011, leaving a balance of MYR380 million.
The regulator has been criticised by politicians and local bloggers over an alleged lack of transparency regarding the management of the USP programme. Responding to the critical assessments of its handling of the fund, the MCMC in a statement produced a list of projects that had been received monies, including a basic telephony project (aimed at ensuring basic telephone infrastructure and services in USP designated areas) costing MYR629.23 milion, and the construction of 873 mobile base stations at a cost of MYR1.87 billion. Further, the MCMC, answering claims of transparency, noted that as per guidelines included in the Communications and Multimedia (Universal Service Provision) Regulations 2002, it is required to publish an annual USP report detailing audited accounts, financial notes and investments, and it said that reports for 2007, 2008 and 2009 are all available via its website.