Premier: MASwings takeover to be finalised by year-end

Abang Johari (5th right) shakes hand with Chee Kadir while other dignitaries look on during adjournment ceremony of Kabong International Kite Festival (KIKF) held at Tanjung Kembang Beach, Kabong on March 10, 2024. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communication Unit (UKAS)

By Shikin Louis

KABONG, March 10: The negotiations on the Sarawak government’s acquisition of MASwings will be finalised by end of this year, says Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the airline’s takeover is a major part of the State’s effort to set up its own airline.


“Insya-Allah, let’s keep our fingers crossed. The discussion might be completed by year-end and then we will take over MASwings,” he said during the adjournment ceremony of Kabong International Kite Festival (KIKF) held at Tanjung Kembang Beach here today.

Abang Johari further said it is hoped the MASwings acquisition will address soaring flight ticket prices from the peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak, especially during festive seasons.

He also said the airfare to Kuala Lumpur could rise to over RM1,000, which is on par with the price imposed to fly to Hong Kong.

“Whenever there is a festive season coming up, the air fares will increase.

“Due to this, the Sarawak government has to step up and provide subsidies so that our Sarawakian children studying in the peninsula can afford the expensive airfares in order to return home during holidays,” he added.

At the same time, Abang Johari also announced several development plans in Kabong, including the construction of a new market and a new housing area.

Additionally, he said the completion of 12-bridge mega project in Sarawak will connect all the villages along the coastal areas including Kabong.

“Once the Batang Lupar Bridge is completed, travelling from Kuching to Sibu will only take about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

“To drive up to Kabong, it will definitely be less than two hours,” he elaborated.

Also present were Sarawak Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki; Deputy Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development (KPWK) Datuk Mohamad Razi Sitam; Kabong assemblyman Mohd Chee Kadir who is also the KIKF organising chairman; Dewan Negara Senator Pele Peter Tinggom; and Betong Resident Richard Michael Abunawas. — DayakDaily