Dr Yii urges authorities to facilitate lower airfares for flights from West Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak

Dr Kelvin Yii speaking in Parliament (file picture).

KUCHING, Nov 2: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii urges the federal and State governments to assist airlines to reduce airfares for routes from West Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak.

The assistance, he said, could include subsidies and tax incentives.

Dr Yii in a press statement said he raised the issue of high airfares from West Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak in Parliament today but Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong responded by saying the high price was due to a Cabinet decision made in 2006 where the government allowed airlines to control air ticket prices using a dynamic pricing mechanism and the concept of cross-subsidisation, that is profitable routes will cover the operating cost of non-profitable routes.

“I strongly believe more can be done to adapt to the changing times especially during this pandemic to ensure that higher cost due to low flight frequency, is not passed down fully to the consumers especially when the people are struggling.

“This includes our frontliners who… just intend to travel back home for a short rest after their busy posting in one of their hospitals in the peninsula over the peak of Covid-19 period but are unable due to the excessive price of tickets.

“Not only high flight ticket prices, but flight schedules are constantly changing and even when a ticket is purchased, the flights frequently get re-timed even to a different day,” he said.

At the same time, Dr Yii who is a member of Democratic Action Party (DAP) hoped the government can provide special flight ticket prices during festive seasons like what the former Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had done before in view of upcoming festive seasons.

He also said the government should be proactive to discuss with airlines companies and provide a conducive environment to allow the companies to offer special prices for Sabahans and Sarawakians to travel back home as many festive seasons are coming and inter-state travel is now allowed. — DayakDaily