The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is strongly against the Ministry of Transport’s (MoT) decision to merge the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) and the Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM).
The move is said to be a way to empower CAAM, to give them both the power to regulate technical and economic aspects of the civil aviation industry. It has also been established that MAVCOM will have to be disbanded.
This decision by MoT is highly disappointing as it shows the minister’s short-sightedness. Let us not forget that when CAAM was downgraded the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS) of University Kebangsaan Malaysia came out to say that they had done studies on the regulatory body and they found that CAAM lacked manpower (experienced engineers and pilots) and the staff that they had were inexperienced and underpaid. They also said that the downgrade was partly due to MoT’s inability to make the necessary changes in CAAM so that they can function as they should.
So why is a self sufficient regulatory body that is functioning as it should being disbanded in favour of a regulatory body that is struggling, inefficient and incompetent; and CAAM comes under the purview of MoT. As an NGO dealing with consumer issues we can clearly see that the welfare of aviation consumers have been well taken care of as MAVCOM ensures that the airlines and airports fulfil their obligations.
We also believe that MAVCOM can function as a good check and balance to MoT as they do not answer to the minister but straight to Parliament. This would be in line with the government’s policy to promote good governance and not by bringing it under the control of MoT. They also do not get funding from the government but are funded by just RM1.00 from every outgoing airline passenger.
This and much more were the points that CAP highlighted as in our letter to our Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as reasons why MAVOM should remain as it is. The letter was sent earlier this week hoping that a decision to merge or dissolve MAVCOM will not be taken to satisfy certain vested interests.
To us it sounds like because CAAM is not doing well MAVCOM has to go. We need to know why MoT has decided to kill MAVCOM instead of taking steps to improve CAAM by having it modelled along the lines of MAVCOM. What justification can the ministry give?
We call on the government to rescind the decision to dissolve MAVCOM and on the parliamentarians to oppose any move to repeal the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015.
Press Statement, 13 December 2019