5 May 2023
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says tickets should be reasonably priced in the future, especially for the upcoming Gawai and Kaamatan festivals.
Airlines should set the price of festive season flight tickets for Sabah and Sarawak based on corporate social responsibility (CSR), and not just on demand and supply, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said the issue of expensive flight ticket prices had been discussed at the Cabinet level, and various efforts had been made by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the federal government to address the problem.
“The transport minister (Anthony Loke) has discussed with the airlines not to use the basis of these flight tickets according to demand and supply, and that there must be an element of CSR to it.
“We hope that during the upcoming festival, this matter will be resolved immediately, and we are very concerned about the problems faced, especially the cost of flights for people from Sabah and Sarawak working in the Peninsula. We will see at the Kaamatan festival and Gawai day celebrations that this problem does not arise again,” he said.
He said this at a press conference after attending a get-together at MRSM Kota Kinabalu, now known as MRSM Tan Sri Musa Aman, which was also attended by Mara chairman, Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.
Zahid said apart from that, establishing a boutique airline connecting the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, is also one of the measures which can ensure that the price of flight tickets is competitive.
Asked about Sabah Deputy Chief Minister I Jeffrey Kitingan’s proposal regarding the creation of the Borneo civil aviation authority to regulate the aviation industry in Sabah and Sarawak, he said that he hoped that the matter would be brought to the Cabinet for discussion.
“Regarding this issue, I hope the minister responsible for Sabah and Sarawak, minister in the prime minister’s department (Sabah, Sarawak affairs and special functions), Armizan Mohd Ali, who is also a member of parliament for Papar, will bring this issue to the Cabinet,” he said.
In Kota Kinabalu, when speaking at the Sabah Umno liaison committee’s Aidilfitri open house at the party’s building compound yesterday, Zahid expressed concern over complaints of the people of Sabah and Sarawak regarding the issue of expensive airline tickets.
He said that he had heard the complaints of people from both states who had to pay expensive airfares to return to their respective hometowns to celebrate Aidilfitri.
“Hence, in this regard, we hope we will be able to facilitate and give opportunities to the B40 and M40 groups, who have very limited finances. Although some can afford it, they may have responsibilities and a lot of expenses incurred.
“Give them the opportunity to return to their hometowns in Sabah and Sarawak with cheap fares,” he said, asking the transport ministry to pay attention to the issue, especially for the upcoming Kaamatan festival and Gawai day celebrations.
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