The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government is still studying the merger of the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), says Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong.
Wee said the Mavcom Act 2015 is still in effect and, as such, the body still needs to function.
“The appointment of the new chairman is to ensure that Mavcom can still function,” he said when asked if Saripuddin Kassim’s appointment meant that the merger with CAAM decided by the previous Pakatan Harapan-led administration would continue.
“At this juncture, we just want to make sure Mavcom can function. Even before a merger takes place, if it still takes place, Mavcom still needs to function,” he said.
Wee said that for the time being, the government’s focus is to ensure all relevant bodies and agencies could function as the country battles Covid-19 and rebuilds the economy.
Previously, Aziz Kaprawi, a former deputy transport minister, criticised the PH government’s decision to merge Mavcom and CAAM, saying it was a regressive move.
He said the merger would remove the checks and balances instituted when Mavcom was established in 2015 to take over a role played by the transport ministry’s aviation division.
The International Aviation Authority (IAA) had also urged reconsideration of the merger, with its Asia Pacific vice-president, Conrad Clifford, saying Mavcom, as an independent economic regulator, was important in providing oversight in the aviation industry while being free from any conflict of interest.