Borneo Post on September 11, 2011, SundayKUCHING: Minister of Tourism and Heritage, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg is unhappy with the Ministry of Transport for not giving the approval for MASwings to operate the Sarawak-Brunei route.
He said it was ‘ironic’ that the Brunei government had agreed on the deal but the federal government had yet to grant the approval.
“I was informed that MASwings wants to operate in Bimp-Eaga including Brunei but the Ministry of Transport has not given the green light.
“If that decision is true, I am not happy with the Ministry of Transport. They should look into our requirements in Sarawak, particularly in Bimp-Eaga area.
“If the other country has given the approval and we have not, something is wrong somewhere,” he told the press after closing the annual general meeting of Sarawak Universiti Teknologi Mara Alumni Association (Mitsa) at a hotel here yesterday.
Abang Johari pledged to bring up the matter to the federal government as he reasoned the Ministry of Transport should grant MASwings the right to operate within areas not being serviced.
He also pointed out MASwings would help enhance connectivity since Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) had withdrawn its flight between Kuching and Bandar Seri Begawan.
On talks that Firefly would terminate its services in Sarawak and Sabah, he said there were negotiations between Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia following a rationalisation exercise.
“I heard about it but it is not confirmed. What I fear is that it may have a negative impact on our efforts in promoting tourism when we do not have direct routes.
“You can rationalise your airlines operations but do not discriminate and jeopardise the whole industry
because Sarawak and Sabah are part of Malaysia and we contribute a lot to national development,” added Abang Johari.