KOTA KINABALU May 7, 2012: State Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun has expressed support to the call by the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia to enter into a strategic collaboration in a bid to galvanise the growth of air transport in the country.
In welcoming the proposed collaboration, he hoped such a move would help solve the problems facing the state, particularly in terms of air connectivity.
“Let the collaboration address the complaints that Sabahans have been complaining, including request for more direct flights to Japan and Australia, and offer a more affordable fare to allow more Malaysians to travel from one sector in the country to another.
“We hope these issues would be addressed through this collaboration…in other words people can travel like before,” he said after launching the “Sabah Protects Sharks – Imperial Gourment Soup Challenge” at Suria Mall, here yesterday.
Masidi was asked to comment on the statement by Upko last Friday supporting the move to undo the share swap between MAS and AirAsia.
Upko secretary-gGeneral Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau was quoted as saying that the party shared the views and urged the two airlines to focus on their core competencies “which are being a low-cost airline for AirAsia and being a premier full service airline for MAS”.
Tangau added that Upko fully supported MAS-AirAsia collaboration “as long as what has been planned by MAS to make the Kota Kinabalu International Airport as its eastern hub, leveraging on the geographical advantages of the city as an ideal gateway for passengers travelling between major international destinations, is not affected.”
The unwinding of the share swap will see Khazanah Nasional transferring its 10 per cent or 277,650,600 ordinary shares in AirAsia back to Tune Air, which will in turn transfer its 20.5 per cent or 685,142,000 ordinary shares in MAS back to Khazanah.
In August last year a Comprehensive Collaboration Framework (CCF) was established to enable MAS, AirAsia and AirAsia X to explore opportunities to cooperate on a broad range of areas to leverage on their respective core competencies and optimise efficiencies.
As part of the CCF, Khazanah and Tune Air entered into a share-swap agreement to align the interests of the primary shareholders of MAS and AirAsia, thereby strengthening the potential for collaboration.
The Fisheries Act must be amended to include a new provision to protect all types of sharks found in Sabah.
the amendment is important to step up efforts to check the shark population from further decline.
“Diving is among Sabah’s most popular tourism products with receipts of RM237 million last year. Many divers come here to see sharks and will go to other countries if they become extinct. This will surely affect our tourism industry,”
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun
“Taxi association was set up to carry passengers and tourist guide association was set up to represent guides while Matta was set up to organise tours. Are we setting the precedent to do away with the guideline and certification process?”
Matta Sabah chairman KL Tan
“If Datuk Ng Yen Yen really believes it is a good idea, some members suggest that taxi licenses to be given to existing tourist guides. They run business like a travel agent and will further improve taxi services in Malaysia. Then be prepared for the possible worst case scenario,”
Daniel Doughty, the chairman of Sabah Tourist Guides Association