Perikatan sticks to Mavcom dissolution plan initiated by Pakatan, related Bills to be tabled in Parliament after disbandment

Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 21, 2020. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 21, 2020. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government will oversee the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) dissolution plan initiated by Pakatan Harapan (PH), and will be tabling related Bills in the Dewan Rakyat after the agency is disbanded, the Transport Ministry (MoT) confirmed.

“Generally, the Transport Ministry’s role is to set policies and the direction of the nation’s aviation industry, whereas CAAM is a regulatory agency linked to aviation technical matters.

“In this regard, the Cabinet had in its meeting on December 11, 2019 scrutinised the need for this regulatory agency, and decided to have the Malaysian airline industry regulatory agency rationalised and put under one entity.  

“Hence, the Cabinet agreed to have Mavcom disbanded and have all of its roles transferred to CAAM,” minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said in a written reply to Tanjong Malim MP Chang Lih Kang.

“Several related Acts would be amended and abolished, in line with this rationalisation plan. The ministry expects to table the related Bills in Parliament after all the due processes regarding the dissolution is complete,” Wee added.

Chang had asked Wee to state the regulatory service charge collection by Mavcom, and the operation cost of the agency from 2018 to date. He also asked the government to state its justification for still having the agency, when its roles can be carried out by the MoT and other available agencies.

Wee, in response, said that Mavcom plays a different role from the MoT as well as the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

On the collection, Wee said that Mavcom collected RM24,768,760 beginning May 2018, with its operational costs at RM25,737,620, while in 2019, it collected RM46,747,851, with its operational costs standing at RM28,947,501.

In May, Wee reportedly said that the PN government is still studying a merger plan between Mavcom and the CAAM.

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported Wee as saying that the Mavcom Act 2015 is still in effect and as such, the body still needs to function.  

He added that for the time being, the government’s goal is to ensure all relevant bodies and agencies function, while it battles the Covid-19 pandemic and rebuilds the economy.

“The appointment of the new chairman is to ensure that Mavcom can still function,” he reportedly said, when asked if Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kassim’s appointment meant that the merger with CAAM decided by PH would not go on.

Saripuddin was appointed on May 1.

In December last year, the MoT announced that Malaysia would have only one civil aviation regulator, after it confirmed the disbandment of Mavcom and that its key roles would be absorbed by the CAAM.

MoT said that the Cabinet during its meeting on December 11, 2019 had agreed that the regulatory body of the Malaysian aviation industry be rationalised and placed under one entity.

The rationalisation plan will see a number of legislative amendments — including the repeal of Mavcom Act 2015 (Act 771) and amendments to the CAAM Act 2017 (Act 788).

MoT said the repeal of Act 771 will allow Mavcom’s functions to be transferred to CAAM, adding that most positions at Mavcom involving expertise in certain areas, will be transferred to CAAM.

In view of this, the ministry said that Mavcom is to be disbanded, to optimise resources and increase management efficiency, as well as paving the way for increased competitiveness.

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