FCAS: Lower airfares from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak should also include return flight tickets

KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) has welcomed the government’s announcement yesterday that, the price of one-way economy class flight tickets from Peninsular Malaysia to various destinations in Sabah and Sarawak has dropped significantly, for flights during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive season this year, for the period of April 27 to May 8.

Its President Tan Sri T.C Goh however hoped that the said ‘special discount’ would also include the return flight tickets, and not just one-way flight tickets.

He also hoped that the government could better encourage the domestic airlines to offer affordable flight tickets for flights between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, during the various festive seasons, in future, so that Sabahans and Sarawakians who are working or studying in Peninsular Malaysia, and west Malaysians working or studying in East Malaysia, could travel back and forth without incurring heavy financial burden.

“The government should at least allow the East Malaysians to enjoy such a special discount for the flight tickets,” he said.

Goh who is also President of The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) expressed this in a statement issued today, while welcoming the announcement made by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong yesterday that, the price of one-way economy class flight tickets from Peninsular Malaysia to various destinations in Sabah and Sarawak has dropped significantly, for flights during the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive season. This was following the government’s agreement with the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM), the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), and domestic airlines regarding the issue of high ticket prices to the two states.

Goh also recalled that during the previous Sarawak state election, the government too managed to intervene to instruct the domestic airlines to provide special discount on flight tickets for Sarawakians who were working in Peninsular Malaysia to return to Sarawak to vote in the state election.

He also opined that the government should come out with a more systematic solution to address the issue of escalating airfares during peak or festive seasons, instead of a knee-jerk reaction to it every time when there’s an intense public outcry.

Two days ago, Goh who is also a member of the Sabah Economic Advisory Council (SEAC) proposed that the government consider placing airfares for domestic flights, between peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, under festive season price control scheme, in order to better regulate the airfares to ensure that they are reasonably priced, so as not to inflict financial burden to the people during the coming Hari Raya Aidlfitri festive season.

He said such an intervention is especially crucial for the people of East Malaysia, as flight services are a key component of logistic services and they should be given top priority by the government.

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