There’s no doubt about it, MAVCOM must stay!

Once more there has been talk of abolishing the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM); but the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) feels that for the sake of upholding airline passengers’ rights MAVCOM must stay.

Since the inception of MAVCOM there have been calls by certain parties in the aviation industry for the commission to be shutdown. The excuse given has always been that MAVCOM impedes the growth of the Malaysian aviation industry.

This excuse is commonly used by airline companies as a way to negatively portray MAVCOM. However to CAP, an association that hears and handles consumer complaints, we know that MAVCOM is a boon to airline passengers.

In the past, airline passenger complaints frequently went unresolved because airlines did not have to be accountable for their actions (or lack of action).  Airline passengers usually complained about issues related to refunds, baggage handling and not being informed about flight cancellation/postponement. When CAP or the passengers themselves brought these complaints to their attention, the airline companies had no problem shirking their responsibility because they did not have to answer to anyone and there was no dedicated avenue for airline passengers to forward their grievances.

Now because of MAVCOM we have the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC). This code legally states the rights of airline passengers and airline companies can no longer play ignorant when their mistakes are brought to light. The existence of the MACPC has made it so that airlines have to be more careful in their operations and that complaints by their passengers are addressed accordingly.

We suspect that this is the true reason why airline companies keep attacking MAVCOM; because they no longer have the freedom to do as they wish at the expense of their customers. After all, let us not forget that MAVCOM not only oversees the operation of airlines but have also set certain standards for airports; standards that if not adhered to will result in penalties. Yet clearly the opposition to MAVCOM is coming from airline companies and not airports.

It is frustrating to hear that our Transport Minister is not at all looking at how much good MAVCOM has done for all airline passengers in Malaysia but instead is giving in to the pressure of those few airline companies.

MAVCOM must stay so that airline passengers retain their rights. We ask that all parties involved put an end to the calls to abolish MAVCOM and instead work on bettering their operations so that airline passengers do not have a reason to complain.

Press Statement, 22 October 2019