Ministry welcomes setting up of airline

Abdul Karim

KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture welcomes the intention of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to get the state to set up its own airline.

Its minister, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said through this, Sarawak would be able to bring in more visitors to the state.

“This development initiative would also benefit the tourism sector which is among the worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said in a Facebook post today.

As such, he supports the statement by the chief minister on the intention of the Sarawak government to form its own airline which has been proposed before this.

“Together we hope that the Covid-19 pandemic will be eradicated so that the situation in the world as well as in Malaysia would return to normal.

“This is important for the safety of our society, especially those who need to return to work in their respective fields,” he said.

Abang Johari, during the Chief Minister’s Webinar, entitled ‘Sarawak 2021 Budget: Towards a High-Income Society in 2030’, hosted by the Sarawak Business Federation on Monday, said the state is mulling the setting up of its own airline to improve air connectivity with strategic locations such as Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Australia.

“This airline will be jointly-owned by the government and private sector because airlines have to be private sector-driven,” he said.

He said earlier, there was a proposal for the state to purchase shares in an airline, but he had noticed there were certain liabilities.

“If you were to purchase shares and still have a minority block, I think it will not be of much benefit. You might as well set up your own airline company,” said Abang Johari.