Sunday, 27 May 2018

(The Star) Abdul Gani: Mavcom needed to protect passengers’ rights

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) is still needed to protect the rights of passengers, says Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

As a former member of the Steering Committee for Aviation Commission, Abdul Gani expressed his concern over recent social media posts and articles that appeared to be critical of the independent regulator.

“I cannot emphasise enough the need for Mavcom. Consumers today are faced with a multitude of situations where their rights are viola­ted.

“We need an independent entity to look out for us,” Abdul Gani said.

He said with Mavcom, travellers could put forth their complaints about automatic add-ons by airlines, post-purchase price increases of tickets, flight delays or even damaged baggages.

Complaints have to be responded to within a week and resolved within 30 days.

“There is no longer a need to rely on the mercy of commercial entities or being unsure of exactly when conflicts can be resolved,” Abdul Gani added.

He said Mavcom was an independent, self-sustaining regulator that did not in any way, have an impact on the cost incurred by the Government nor the size of it.

“Neither Transport Ministry nor Malaysia Competition Commission offer this service, hence it is erroneous to suggest that Mavcom is taking over the roles of both entities.”

He expressed confidence that con­­sumers who had engaged Mav­com with their grouses would attest to the importance of having an independent commission to intercede on their behalf.

“For passengers to contribute only RM1 when departing from a Malaysian airport seems like a sound investment for peace of mind.

“Moreover, passengers using the Rural Air Services in Sabah and Sarawak are exempted from this charge,” he said.

Recently, Mavcom and AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes were involved in a spat after claims that it had instructed the budget airline to cancel 120 additional flights scheduled before the 14th General Election.