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Kong Choy faces risk of a RM10-salary cut motion in  the budget meeting of Parliament  if he fails to end the slew of flight delays whether MAS or Air Asia


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Friday) : Denials by both MAS and Air Asia about rampant flight delays do not wash, as it is only shows that the management of the two airlines are suffering from a denial syndrome with regard to  public dissatisfaction and discontent about  their services.


There is no need for them to meet the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy as all  they need to do is to ask the passengers or even their staffs about the mounting  grouses of flight delays.


In fact, the Transport Minister must be faulted for being so slow and late in addressing the issue and he faces the  risk of a RM10-salary cut motion in  the budget meeting of Parliament if he fails to end the slew of flight delays whether MAS or Air Asia.


A RM10-cut motion is a parliamentary device  to censure a Minister for failure, incompetence or negligence in the discharge of his duties, and even though the RM10-cut motion is not passed, it stands as a black mark on his Ministerial record.


Chan said he had been receiving complaints �almost every day now� about flight delays at both airlines.


More than three weeks ago on August 1, when MAS had announced increases of its airfares,  I had publicly asked Chan whether he was aware of the �abysmal drop in the standard of MAS services because of the frequent flight delays, which have become a daily agony for the traveling public� and why had MAS suddenly returned to the �Mana Ada Sistem� in the early 1990s, when flight delays were the order of the day giving the national airline and the country such a bad name?


I had then asked Chan  to make public the number of MAS flights delayed each day for the past four weeks as compared to the previous month and the previous year?  He should now make these statistics available to Parliament for the past two months.


MAS chief Idris Jala is reported in the press today as wanting to meet the Transport Minister over allegations of MAS flight delays.  If Idris had not been misreported, indicating that he is not aware of widespread complaints about rampant MAS flight delays in the past two months,  then his stewardship and suitability as the CEO of the national airline will immediately  come under question.


Poor MAS services are completely unacceptable when Malaysian taxpayers have been paying billions of ringgit in the past decade to prop up MAS � the most recent being the RM850 million government funding for the MAS  mutual separation scheme (MSS) to slash jobs and the rationalization of routes.

Idris should justify the recent  RM495.5 million  MAS MSS exercise, creating 141 �half-millionaires�, with 23 employees given �golden handshakes� from RM600,000 to RM700,000 each.

I have been told that under the MSS payout, successful MAS employees get three or more times the payment of what they would have been entitled to if  they  had stayed on and  completed their services with the national airline. 


If this applies to the 141 who were paid MSS above RM400,000, MAS would have saved RM48 million alone, or RM330 million out of the entire MSS exercise involving  RM495.5 million, if they were allowed to complete their terms of service.

MAS must prove that there is accountability, transparency and integrity in the MSS payouts especially as the RM495.5 million came from public funds to help MAS to cut costs to become a viable airline and not to give bonanzas or create scores of instant �half-millionaires�.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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