Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) executive chairman Tan Sri Gen (Rtd) Abdullah Ahmad is stepping down, according to sources who sighted the resignation letter.
Bernama quoted an anonymous source as saying: “I cannot say anything at this point in time. But I can tell you that he is on his way out.”
A statement on the resignation would be issued later, she said, according to Bernama.
Mavcom’s duties are to safeguard the interests of airline passengers, regulate the civil aviation industry, and negotiate aviation rights.
It has been under the spotlight recently following calls for its abolition by local airlines, namely AirAsia, Eaglexpress Air Charter Sdn Bhd and Suasa Airlines Sdn Bhd, saying the Commission did not understand how the aviation industry really worked.
The much-criticised passenger service charges also put Mavcom under pressure as the move to hike the rate was not welcomed by industry players and travellers.
Abdullah, a retired Air Force general, has served Mavcom for more than two years and during his tenure, the administration received over 3,900 public complaints and managed to resolve up to 93% of them within 30 days.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke had previously revealed that Abdullah’s salary was currently about RM85,000 a month, which was four times more than what Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad earned.
He said the Prime Minister had given instructions for a salary review after it was revealed that Abdullah’s monthly salary and allowance in 2016 was RM78,300.
Loke said there was a 3% increase in 2017, and a further 5% increment in 2018, to bring his current salary to RM85,000 a month.
He also said Dr Mahathir had directed the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa to review all salaries of chairmen of other statutory bodies and GLCs.
It was also reported that Abdullah’s salary was actually the lowest among chairmen in such bodies and government-linked companies.
According to a source, some commission chairmen enjoy a monthly salary in the region of RM150,000 to RM180,000.