Malaysians subsidising foreigners

10 Oct 2018 / 16:39 H.

PETALING JAYA: The failure of Malaysia Airports Berhad to implement the RM73 Passenger Service Charge (PSC) is costing Malaysians who continue to subsidise foreigners in the millions as they fly out of klia2 to non-Asean destinations.
The Malaysia Aviation Commission (Mavcom) had introduced equalisation of the Passenger Services Charge PSC to RM73 for non-Asean destinations from Jan 1.
But this has yet to be implemented as MAB continues to charge the previous rate of RM50.
An aviation source said about 80% of those flying to non-Asean destinations out of klia2 are foreigners and that PSC is paid by the passengers and it has nothing to do with the ticket fare.
"The question that must be answered is why should Malaysians continue to subsidise foreigners especially when the government is working hard to save money.
"At the end of the day the failure to implement the PSC would mean that either money will have to come out of government coffers or MAB will pay the government lower fees, either way, it is the public that will suffer," the source said.
The source said the PSC was gazetted in Dec last year and was supposed to be implemented in Jan.
It was deferred to March but has yet to be implemented.
"From Jan to Aug this year over 5.7 million people had flown to non-Asean destinations from klia2, based on RM73 PSC. This works out to about RM416 million but with airlines collecting only RM50, it is about RM285 million.
"The question is who is paying the balance of RM131 million. The airport operator has an agreement with the government to collect the money from the government, therefore it is the taxpayer who has to cover this burden," the source said.
The aviation source said one the reason for the failure to implement the charges is due to the fact that some airlines had claimed that it would affect their passengers and cost.
The source pointed out that these same airlines that operated out of Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and other Asean countries don't mind having their passengers paying the full PSC charges although its higher than klia2.
The source said Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport, which is older than kila2, charges a higher PSC rate than klia2 but Malaysian airlines that operate from there have not asked for preferential privileges, unlike the demands that they have made here.
The source was also highly critical of MAB for failing to force airlines to collect the full PSC as it had been gazetted at the end of last year and was supposed to be implemented on March 1 this year.
The failure to implement a gazetted law is akin to breaking the law but none of those involved "seem to care", said the source.
"To claim that klia2 is not a greater airport is wrong as it is equipped with a dedicated 4km runway (Runway 3) with a 2.2 km separation distance from Runway 2 at KLIA.
"This allows simultaneous aircraft take-off and landing operations at KLIA, the first of its kind in the region," the source said.
The source said the failure to collect the full PSC would mean that Malaysians will have to continue to subsidise foreigners using klia2.

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