Posted on 01 Jul 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post

KUCHING (July 1): The Sarawak government took one step closer in taking over MASWings with the setting up of a task force dedicated to ensuring a smooth acquisition process.

Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin said this was agreed upon in a fruitful meeting with his federal counterpart Anthony Loke in Putrajaya on June 30.

He said members representing the state government will actively participate in the task force.

“It was also decided that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed to initiate further discussions and facilitate the takeover,” he said in a statement today.

Lee expressed his heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Loke for his unwavering commitment and support in realising the Sarawak government’s aspirations in establishing its own airline.

Lee said he headed the Sarawak delegation in paying a courtesy call on Loke to discuss the establishment of Sarawak Airline through the acquisition of MASWings as a follow-up to the announcement made on June 15 by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He was joined by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Sarawak State Attorney-General Dato Sri Talat Mahmood, State Financial Secretary Dato Sri Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar and Deputy State Secretary (Economic Planning and Development) Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel.

Also present were the ministry’s permanent secretary Dato Alice Jawan Empaling, Economic Planning Unit Sarawak director Lester Matthew, Aviation Technical Advisor for the ministry Sio Yew Hua and Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Miron Kumer Ganguly.

On another matter, Lee said in the meeting he also highlighted the proposed RM60 million optimisation plan for Miri Airport, to which Loke assured the airport’s upgrading project will be the ministry’s top priority in obtaining approval from the federal government.

He added the proposed optimisation plan for Kuching International Airport was also addressed in the discussion.

Additionally, he made a request for the Stage Bus Service Transformation programme under the federal government funding in Kuching to be carried out by a local consortium of bus operators.

The Borneo Post

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