WELL it’s official — almost. The State Governments of Sarawak and Sabah will soon be major shareholders of MASWings through restructuring of the airline.
I realise I have been talking about this for a long time, but hey, now news has come from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the review would involve increasing the airline’s productivity and its network of connections in East Malaysia.
“As requested by the state governments of Sarawak and Sabah, the structure of MASwings will be reviewed so that they could own part of MASWings,” Datuk Seri Najib is quoted as saying.
He explained that MASWings’ structure would be reviewed to take into consideration the interests of Sarawak and Sabah, to enable both State Governments to partially own the airline.
Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that having equity ownership of MASWings would have a major impact on the economic development of both states.
Datuk Amar Abang Johari said the Sarawak and Sabah Governments are still negotiating with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to finalise the equity held by the parties involved.
According to media reports, industry sources have indicated that Sabah and Sarawak will each have 30 per cent ownership of the airline, while the Federal Government would take the remaining 40 per cent.
Datuk Amar Johari did say that both States would likely have a majority shareholding so that they could make decisions on MASWings’ service.
He also said that a new suitable business model would be drawn up.
“We are grateful to the prime minister and should continue to give the mandate to him as Sabah and Sarawak are still in need of more federal assistance to develop their infrastructure facilities,” he is quoted as saying.
MASwings officially began operations on Oct 1, 2007.
Initially started to serve the rural areas of East Malaysia, the airline recently introduced regional services with flights to international destinations such as Brunei and Indonesia.
The airline apparently also plans to fly to Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Bangkok and Seoul in the next phase of its regional expansion.
Great stuff. It is a fantastic development to ensure better connectivity for all East Malaysians and will also have a positive effect on our economy not just in terms of tourism but also for regional investors to come to both states.
Real transformation and not just passing change.
A Bernama report:
MASwings’ Structure To Be Reviewed To Include Sabah, Sarawak In Share Ownership
By Hamdan Ismail
KUCHING, April 28 (Bernama) — The government will review the structure of MASwings, a fully owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, to consider the inclusion of Sabah and Sarawak state governments in the equity ownership of the company.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday said the review would also consider increasing the productivity of MASwings and its network connections in both the states.
“As requested by the state governments of Sarawak and Sabah, the structure of MASwings will be reviewed so that they could own part of MASwings.”
The prime minister said this in his speech when officiating the Program Jelajah Janji Ditepati (Roadshow to Fulfill Promises Made) at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya here today.
MASwings began its operations on Oct 1, 2007 to undertake rural air services in both the states.
Another Bernama report:
‘MASwings restructuring has major impact on Sabah, Sarawak’
Kuching: The equity ownership of MASwings by the Sabah and Sarawak governments would have a major impact on the economic development of the two states, said Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s announcement yesterday on the study to restructure the wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, reflected the prime minister’s concern on the need to increase air communication in the two states.
“We are grateful to the prime minister and should continue to give the mandate to him as Sabah and Sarawak are still in need of more federal assistance to develop their infrastructure facilities,” he told a media conference here today.
Yesterday, Najib, in the ‘Promises Fulfilled’ roadshow here, among others announced a review to consider the involvement of the Sabah and Sarawak Governments in the equity ownership of MASwings.
MASwings began operations officially on Oct 1, 2007, with services into the interior of the two states.
Elaborating, Abang Johari said the two state governments were still negotiating with Malaysia Airlines to finalise the equity held by the parties
However, he said, both state governments were expected to become majority shareholders to enable them make a decision on the service of MASwings.
He also felt that MASwings need not compete with other airlines and that a new suitable business model would be drawn up. — Bernama
The Star’s report:
Najib: Proposed restructuring will see Sabah, Sarawak as MASwings stakeholders
KUCHING: MASwings will be restructured to allow the Sarawak and Sabah state governments to have a stake in the airline.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who announced this yesterday, said the move would help both states to increase their connectivity.
In response to requests from both states, the structure of MASwings would be reviewed to take into consideration the interests of Sarawak and Sabah, to enable both state governments to partially own the airline, he said during the Janji Ditepati programme at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.
Najib did not give further details of the proposed restructuring of the airline. However, industry sources indicate that Sabah and Sarawak will have 30% ownership each while the Federal Government will take the remaining 40%.
The announcement is welcome news for the state’s tourism industry, which depends on good air links to bring in visitors. The Federal Government recently agreed to both state governments’ proposal for MASwings to be a regional airline instead of only operating rural air services in Sarawak and Sabah.
MASwings has since introduced new destinations in Brunei and Kalimantan and plans to fly to Asian cities like Hong Kong, Bangkok and Seoul in its next phase of regional expansion.