The deputy prime minister said the federal government takes the issue seriously as the suggestion has been brought up to the attention of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and was also discussed in the Cabinet recently.
Ahmad Zahid hoped that the airline would not only provide connectivity between Sabah and Sarawak but also to Peninsular Malaysia, considering that many Sabahans and Sarawakians working there could not return to their hometowns due to high ticket prices during festivities.
He said the federal government has been working hard to tackle the issue which has been plaguing the people of both states for many years, particularly those in the B40 and M40 bracket.
“Transport Minister Anthony Loke has met with airline companies and told them to not follow the basis of supply and demand when it comes to this matter. Rather, they should apply a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to it.
“During the upcoming Gawai and Kaamatan celebrations, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and I will monitor the situation to ensure that the issue does not arise again.
“Hopefully, the problem can be resolved by then,” he said during a working visit to Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Kota Kinabalu, which has since been renamed to MRSM Tan Sri Musa Aman, here, on Thursday.
Meanwhile, when asked to respond to a proposal to the establish of Borneo Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) to regulate and oversee the aviation industry in Sabah and Sarawak, Ahmad Zahid said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak, and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali should bring it up to the Cabinet.
The proposal on the establishment of BCAA was made by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who said the authority would control airfares to Sabah and Sarawak, which has a tendency to soar to unreasonable prices during festive seasons.