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Musa’s scared of KL bosses, says Yong

Barisan Nasional will pay the price of inflicting its KL-centric
decision on Sabah come the 13th general election.
KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Musa Aman’s ‘subservience’ to his bosses in Kuala Lumpur over the recent cancellation of outgoing flights from Sabah to Japan, Korea and Australia will have ‘damaging consequences’ in next general election.

Accusing the state government of being cowards, local opposition Sabah Progressive People’s Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee said: “This is a most disgusting and damaging consequence of the subservience of Sabah to KL.

“The state government dared not voice out for Sabah because our government leaders are subservient to Kuala Lumpur and are scared of losing their lucrative jobs.

‘It is a blatant blow to the Sabah tourism industry…I fear there is worse to come.”

He urged the Musa administration and the state Tourism Board to mount a formidable complaint to the anti-monopoly Malaysia Competition Commission (MCC) under the Competition Act 2010.

The Competition Commission is reportedly investigating the MAS-Air Asia share swap deal which has created a super monopoly of the aviation industry.

The deal has forced MAS to rationalize its route leading to reduced flights, reduced destinations, and higher fares.

The rationalization has also resulted in the cancellation of Tiger Air flights to Sabah.
“The state government and tourism board must complaint to the MCC.

“This must change. The cancellation of flights will further aggravate the sufferings of Sabah who are already being slapped with KL-centric policies such as the cabotage shipping policy, over centralization of the banking sector in KL, the motor industry and trade,” said Yong.

Monopoly a blow to Sabah economy

He said the decision did not make any sense because if “Sabah loses economically, Malaysia also loses.”

“MAS might as well tell the tourists to skip Sabah altogether.

“The federal authorities and MAS cannot later blame the Sabah private sector for packing Sabah tours with Brunei, Hong Kong and Shenzhen (China) to take advantage of the superior hub facilities at cheaper prices and flying time via Brunei using Royal Brunei Airlines and other airlines flying from Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

“This means MAS will lose this lucrative market,” he said.

In August, Sabah lost its sole representative on the MAS board due to the Comprehensive Collaboration Framework between MAS, Air Asia and Air Asia X.

“At that time I had warned that that was a blow to Sabah’s economy because the loss of Sabah representation has left Sabah at the mercy of the MAS – Air Asia monopoly.

“The new directors who replaced Sabah’s state secretary (Sukarti Wakiman) are top corporate leaders and bureaucrats based in Kuala Lumpur who see no need to fly via Kota Kinabalu.

“They have no experience of the frustrations of traveling within Sabah and Labuan, ” said Yong.

He added that with the cancellation travellers from Sabah who were going to Japan and Korea would first have to fly to KL and transit there.

“After at least one hour of transit in KLIA and five hours of flying, the same passenger would be back to square one flying over Sabah on the way to Japan or Korea.

“Where’s the common sense?” asked Yong.

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