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Liberal Democratic Party welcomes proposal to privatise Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
Published on: Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Liberal Democratic Party welcomes proposal to privatise Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
Ong said this roadmap must demonstrate a genuine commitment to capacity building by developing local expertise in aviation management and operations within these states, adding efficient governance requires decisions being made closer to the ground by those most invested in their communities.
Kota Kinabalu: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President David Ong welcomed and supported the proposed privatisation of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) through the Gateway Development Alliance (GDA) consortium as a step towards improving the nation’s aviation infrastructure and services. 

“However, we must ensure this initial privatisation leads to tangible decentralisation that empowers Sabah and Sarawak in the future.

“Decentralised airport management would greatly benefit Sabah by allowing the State to tailor its aviation strategies to local economic priorities like tourism, trade and connectivity needs.  Its enables decisions catered to Sabah’s unique geographical conditions and development goals.

“While the privatisation aims to drive investments, enhance connectivity and upgrade airport facilities, consolidating ownership under the GDA consortium controlled by Federal entities like Khazanah and EPF raises concerns about continued centralised control over State aviation assets,” he said in a statement Monday.  

According to him, LDP has long advocated for greater autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak in line with the principles of the Malaysian Agreement 1963. 

“We believe Sabah and Sarawak must have a decisive say in charting the development of their own airports and aviation sectors.

“True empowerment hinges on eventually transferring ownership and operational control of airports located in Sabah and Sarawak to their respective State Governments and local authorities. Only then can strategies be tailored to the unique economic, cultural and geographical needs of these regions.”

LDP urged the Federal Government to present a clear, time-bound roadmap outlining the specific phases and milestones for decentralising airport operations to Sabah and Sarawak after the initial GDA privatization of MAHB.  

Ong said this roadmap must demonstrate a genuine commitment to capacity building by developing local expertise in aviation management and operations within these states, adding efficient governance requires decisions being made closer to the ground by those most invested in their communities.

“We support measures to enhance Malaysia’s aviation competitiveness and infrastructure. However, we cannot ignore long-standing calls for greater State autonomy and self-determination from Sabahans and Sarawakians.  

“While privatisation may be a decent first step, it must be a means to an end – the true decentralisation of airport ownership and operations. We owe it to the people of Sabah and Sarawak to ensure this opportunity for empowerment is not squandered.

“The success of this exercise will be judged not just by infrastructure improvements, but by how effectively it pave the way for these Sabah and Sarawak to take charge of their own aviation futures in the long run. We call upon all stakeholders to work together towards this shared vision of inclusive growth and progress for all Malaysians.” 

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