PETALING JAYA: The Public Transport Users Association (4PAM) says there is no justification for the regulatory charge of RM1 on passengers at each airport as proposed in the Mavcom (Amendment) Bill 2017.

Referring to the amendment that is being debated in the Dewan Rakyat currently, 4PAM president Ajit Johl said charging users to ensure the economic and safety aspects of passengers are met by airlines, does not make any sense.

“Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) was created to protect users and now they want to charge the same users to protect them. This is almost like ‘protection money’,” he said, criticising the rationale given.

“Furthermore, isn’t safety expected from the airlines? Is Mavcom saying that in the event of any incident Mavcom would take responsibility?

“Or is Mavcom saying that standards are not being met currently? Is the DCA not in charge of safety? Does Mavcom have competent people to ensure safety?”

Calling into question Mavcom’s existence, Ajit said the agency needs to provide a sound, clear explanation on the amount of funding it receives, how the funds are spent as well as its operating cost.

“If the government does not have the funds to protect airline passengers, why was Mavcom created in the first place?

“It is the role of the government to ensure that airline passengers are protected at all times. They are already paying taxes in various forms and should not be further burdened,” he said.

Ajit said he also opposes Mavcom’s proposal to control airfares as the airline industry is a competitive business.

“Users are smart enough to scout for deals, competition will make airlines stronger.

“Besides, price control should be set up by SPAD, where the capital expenditure cost is funded by the government,” he said, calling for Mavcom’s role and existence to be re-examined.