MAHB submits detailed plans to regenerate Subang airport, amid heightened takeover talks by new company

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) submitted an extensive 80-page regeneration plan for the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last Friday, as talks of plans to push for a new company to operate the iconic airport heightens.

Certain quarters claim WCT Holdings Bhd, controlled by businessman Tan Sri Desmond Lim, seems to be “favoured by certain parties” and that an open tender should be called instead.

“We heard that plans to push for the airport in Subang to be carved out remain on the table,” said an insider familiar with the matter.

Following a meeting between Muhyiddin and MAHB chairman Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir last month, MAHB issued a statement saying that the prime minister had given assurance that any proposal to redevelop the airport would first be referred to MAHB.

On Aug 18, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said the Penang International Airport expansion project announced in Budget 2020 had been halted, pending the National Airport Strategic Plan (NASP) study due for completion in 2023.

“So, any plans to redevelop Subang airport should only be done once the NASP is completed,” added the source.

MAHB had, in its detailed plan themed ‘Creating Tomorrow, Here: The Preferred Hub for Aerospace and Business Aviation in Asia Pacific’ sighted by Twentytwo13, outlined its plans moving forward, and the implications of carving out the airport in Subang.

The carve-out, according to MAHB, would among others, lead to the cannibalisation of passenger and cargo traffic that will seriously erode the developed hub status of KL International Airport, wreak havoc on airlines’ connectivity and network that would adversely impact long haul traffic, and drive foreign airlines to shift operations to Bangkok or Singapore Changi. The shift would also pose a major threat to national security.

MAHB also provided ten reasons why its plan would serve the nation better than any other private venture, citing the national socio-economic agenda, its proven track record and its financial capabilities “where RM3.1 billion has been secured and there is no need for government funding.”

Another industry player pointed out: “Since MAHB has given its plan, and there are talks of an earlier proposal, perhaps the best thing to do is for the Transport Ministry to call for an open tender.”

WCT Holdings, in a filing with Bursa Malaysia on May 7, said its proposal was a “concept paper”.

“But before calling for such a tender, perhaps the ministry should get input from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and obtain an impact assessment, among others. This could be a time consuming process, but at least we will get views related to the future of Subang airport from a neutral party (the EPU),” the industry player added.

These are Twentytwo13’s news highlights.

OVER 200K DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES GIVEN OUT YESTERDAY

A total of 215,876 doses of Covid-19 vaccines were administered yesterday, surpassing the government’s target of 200,000 doses per day.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba tweeted that 160,226 individuals got their first shots while the rest got their second dose.

To date, 1,468,689 people have been fully vaccinated (both doses) in Malaysia, while 3,435,420 received their first dose.

Malaysia recorded 5,150 new Covid-19 cases today. Selangor recorded the highest number of cases with 1,914, followed by Negeri Sembilan (607 cases), Sarawak (570) and Kuala Lumpur (480).

SARAWAK ALLOCATES RM200M TO BUILD RESEARCH CENTRE FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES

The Sarawak government has allocated RM200 million to build a research centre to deal with infectious diseases.

The research hub would be located near the Sarawak Heart Centre along the Kuching-Samarahan Corridor in Kota Samarahan.

“The development of the centre is to ensure outbreak preparedness and to spearhead the fight against future pandemics in the state,” said Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The centre would be equipped with Bio-Safety Level 3 laboratories for research and development of infectious agents, and product testing.

GYM OWNER, FITNESS LOVERS SLAPPED WITH COMPOUNDS

A 58-year-old gymnasium owner and four patrons were slapped with compounds for operating and working out in the gymnasium during the total lockdown.

Seberang Prai Utara police chief Assistant Commissioner Noorzainy Mohd Noor said the gym owner was given a RM10,000 compound, while his customers received RM2,000 compound, each.

The gymnasium, located at Jalan Bagan Luar, Butterworth, was operating when a team from the Butterworth police station visited the premises about 5.40pm yesterday.

Gymnasiums are not allowed to open during the nationwide lockdown, which is to end on June 28.

EITHER CLEAN UP COVID-19 QUARANTINE CENTRES, OR LET THOSE INFECTED STAY HOME

The powers-that-be have been urged to visit quarantine centres in the country, including in Sabah and Terengganu, and give those already suffering, some dignity, joy and comfort by cleaning their toilets and bedrooms.

Twentytwo13 contributor Muhammad Yunus Zakariah said if maintaining such centres was too expensive, patients should be allowed to self-quarantine at home, and enforcement improved to ensure they adhered to the standard operating procedures.

SHOULD TUNKU ISMAIL BE ALLOWED TO REDEEM HIMSELF AFTER SHORT, FORGETTABLE STINT AS FAM PRESIDENT?

Tunku Ismail Ibrahim had, on his Instagram account two days ago, stated his willingness to take charge of the national team.

While the Crown Prince of Johor had been instrumental in transforming Johor Darul Ta’zim into a premier club in Malaysia, the results of the national team left much to be desired during his short-lived tenure as FAM president from March 2017 to July 2018.

Should Tunku Ismail be allowed to redeem himself, or are we setting ourselves up to failure by allowing him to call the shots, either as the national team’s manager, or coordinator?