‘We’re watching’ – opposition MPs to govt on Subang Airport ‘sale’

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Two opposition MPs today welcomed an assurance by the government that the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport at Subang, Selangor as well as other local airports will not be sold.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh referred to statements from the Transport Ministry and Finance Ministry yesterday after protests were raised against a proposal by a private company to take over the airport.

“We are watching, and we will continue to watch, we will make sure it does not happen,” said Saddiq in a Facebook live session held outside the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur.

“The statements clearly showed the power of the people.

“Without support from the public, most likely we would have to mortgage or sell Subang Airport to a tycoon,” he said.

The former youth and sports minister warned “tycoons” against alleged attempts to profit from the pandemic through lobbying for “lopsided” deals.

Yesterday, Saddiq, prior to the ministries’ responses, revealed a letter purportedly from Khazanah Nasional Bhd to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin that detailed severe consequences if the Subang airport was sold to WCT Holdings Bhd.

He claimed the letter dated May 11 stated that privatising the airport would “kill” plans to restructure the Malaysian Aviation Group (MAG) which oversees Malaysian Airlines Bhd (MAB).

The current owner of the airport is Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB) which has a concession to run the airport until 2069. MAHB previously urged the government to review plans to sell off the airport.

Khazanah Nasional, EPF, and Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) collectively own 53 percent of MAHB as of end-2020. Khazanah is also the sole owner of MAB.

According to The Vibes, WCT Holdings’ wholly-owned Subang Skypark Sdn Bhd proposed a new concession that will expire in 2092. Property magnate Desmond Lim controls WCT Holdings.

Meanwhile, Yeoh said while the state of emergency has allowed the government to bypass certain procurement procedures, Pakatan Harapan MPs will continue to scrutinise the expenses.

“We will not allow you to make a profit from this pandemic.

“We will continue to monitor and we promise as MPs to review any contracts made which are not good for the people…the moment Parliament is open we will call for scrutiny on the use of emergency powers to sign all kinds of stuff,” she said.

The former Subang Jaya assemblyperson described the Subang Airport as a national asset that must be protected.

Yeoh also shot down Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan’s reported demand for Syed Saddiq to apologise to Muhyiddin for his initial claims.

Yeoh pointed out that Syed Saddiq was raising legitimate questions which should have been asked and responded to in Parliament, which until now remains closed.

“To the Perikatan Nasional government, these two statements are good assurances, but we hope you will not use words like ‘setakat ini’ (for now).

“We need a guarantee that you as the government of the day will preserve national assets like the Subang Airport,” she said.

The Finance Ministry yesterday confirmed that the Subang Airport as well as other local airports will not be sold.

The Transport Ministry, meanwhile, said the cabinet did not decide on the sale of any of Subang Airport’s assets. – Malaysiakini