PARTI Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) today supported Malaysia Airports Workers Union’s (KESMA) decision to launch a nationwide protest if the Government insists on selling off Subang Airport to private enterprises.
“The decision by KESMA to protest the sale of public-owned Subang Airport to tycoon Tan Sri Desmond Lim Siew Choon is welcomed. This is in defense of people’s rights, especially East Malaysians.
“Lim’s WCT Holdings Bhd cannot solely rely on private jet travellers to earn profits and will eventually claw into the mass-passengers handled by other airports such as KLIA & KLIA2 to pay off its massive debt,” its central committee member Sharan Raj said, in a statement.
Yesterday, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) unions urged the Government to call off plans to sell Subang Airport, or risk peaceful protests.
“This acquisition makes no sense and Prime Minister Tan Sri Mahiaddin Yassin should openly declare to the public that it would not happen.
“I also urge MAHB leadership to expel Subang Skypark Sdn Bhd (SSSB), WCT Holdings’ wholly owned unit, from its partnership for its insolence and lack of integrity.
“Make no mistake about it. All three unions under MAHB will not remain silent and continue to defend Subang Airport staffers and Malaysia’s interest at large by holding pickets and peaceful demonstrations involving employees from the transportation sector if our pleas get ignored,” Kesma chief Hussin Shahar was reported saying.
The other unions backing his call were MAHB Sarawak Workers’ Union (KEPEMAB) and MAHB Sabah & Labuan Workers’ Union (KEPMAS).
MAHB unions protecting people’s interest
On that note, Sharan said that MAHB uses the revenue generated from its commercial activities at KLIA 1 and KLIA 2 to “cross-subsidise” the maintenance of 18 Short Take Off & Landing Ports (STOLPORTS).
Therefore, any drop in revenue at KLIA 1 and KLIA 2, in addition to the potential loss of revenue from Subang Airport would definitely affect STOLPORTS across Malaysia.
“STOLPORTS are the lifeline to bring in goods, food, medical personnel, education and even newspapers to rural East Malaysia.
“Plus, air connectivity through STOLPORTS is part of the Rural Air Services (RAS), which is one of the items included by Sabah and Sarawak during the negotiations to form Malaysia back in 1963,” the PSM leader stated.
Sharan added: “The selling of Subang Airport to private capitalists will expose MAHB to profit-oriented competition which will affect rural Malaysia.
“Therefore, Kesma is doing the right thing to defend Malaysians, particularly agreements signed upon under the Malaysia Agreement.” – June 22, 2021.