Airport workers picket against Subang Airport sale is welcome

This is a response to an announcement made by the Malaysia Airports Workers Union (KESMA) to go on a nationwide protest against the proposed takeover of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (LTSAAS) in Subang.

The decision by KESMA to protest the sale of publicly-owned Subang Airport to private capitalist Desmond Lim Siew Choon is welcomed as it defends the rights of the people, particularly East Malaysians1.

WCT Holding Berhad cannot solely rely on private jet travelers and must claw into the market share of mass-passengers handled by other airports such as KLIA & KLIA2 to pay off the massive debt and earn profits.

MAHB utilises the revenues generated from the commercial activities of KLIA & KLIA2 to “cross-subsidise” the maintenance of 18 Short Take Off & Landing Ports (STOLPORTS)2. Revenue drops at KLIA & KLIA 2 and loss of revenue at Subang Airport will lead to poor maintenance of STOLPORTS.

STOLPORTS is the sole lifeline to bring in goods, food, medical personnel, education, and newspapers in rural East Malaysia. Air connectivity through STOLPORTS is part of the Rural Air Services (RAS) which was one of the items included by Sabah and Sarawak during the negotiations to form Malaysia in 19633.

The selling of Subang Airport to private capitalists will expose MAHB to profit-oriented competition which will lead to negative impacts to the people particularly for East Malaysians.

We support the decision by the Malaysia Airports Workers Union (KESMA) to protest the sale as it defends the rights of East Malaysians enshrined during the formation of this federation.

SHARAN RAJ
Central Committee
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
&
State Secretary
Parti Sosialis Malaysia Negeri Melaka (PSM Melaka)

1 https://www.thevibes.com/articles/business/26367/Pavilion-KLs-desmond-lim-moots-subang-airport-takeover-glcs-up-in-arms

2 http://www.malaysiaairports.com.my/sites/corporate/files/2020-06/mahb-sustainability-report-2019_24june.pdf

3 https://www.mavcom.my/en/industry/public-service-obligations/how-rural-air-services-ras-helps/

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