2 December 2011
By Lim Mun Fah, Translated by Soong Phui Jee
The construction of the klia2 was started in 2009 and 42% of it has now been completed. It is said to be the world’s largest low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) catering for 45 million passengers once it is put in full operation.
Some people might see it as the best example showing the Malaysia Boleh spirit.
However, one after another negative news is heard before its completion.
Firstly, the project’s completion has been delayed by six month from its original dateline.
Secondly, the construction area has been extended, resulting in skyrocketing costs from RM2 billion to RM3.9 billion.
We do not know the reason to expand the klia2 project but what is certain is, the soaring costs will ultimately be bore by consumers. The increase of airport tax serves as the best example here.
Tony openly opposed to the increase of airport tax based on a very simple reason, he said on Twitter: "Airport taxes are paid by Malaysians and passengers. The money doesn’t go to AirAsia but MAHB (Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd)."
According to earlier reports, AirAsia’s proposal to build a new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) costing RM1.6bil in Labu, Negri Sembilan was rejected. It was rumoured that although the project was rejected, AirAsia has successfully fought for lower LCCT airport charges.
If the rumour is true, it would then be understandable why Tony is so angry and accused the MAHB of making too many empty promises.
Tony is not a politician. As an entrepreneur, it is understandable for him to view from the business point of view. The problem is, would the authority listen to his unpleasant words?
The alternative coalition criticised the klia2 as a grandiose project because the country is not in a need of an enormous second international airport. This has reminded us of the controversial KLIA–KL Sentral baggage handling system.
The baggage handling system was estimated to cost RM92.4 million but "various factors" have doubled the cost to RM186 million! And the system has not been put into full operation three years after its completion due to charges problems and so far, the usage has been merely 25%.
If the klia2 ends in the same fate as a project meant only for development without the consideration of costs ans returns, the price will again paid by the people!