DAP lawmaker Tony Pua wants to know what the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) really is if it is not a low-cost terminal as denied by Malaysia Airports Holdings BHD (MAHB).
"So not only is KLIA2 not a 'low-cost terminal', it also appears that MAHB is now ditching its own much-ridiculed 'hybrid airport' moniker," said Pua in a statement, citing Deputy Transport Minister Ab Aziz Kaprawi's announcement in July 2013 that KLIA2 will be the country's first hybrid airport.
The announcement at the time, said Pua, was made to partly justify the increase in the cost of the terminal from RM1.7 billion to more than RM4 billion.
"Malaysians are rightly confused with the shifting terminologies and inconsistent definitions of what exactly is the purpose and intent of KLIA2," added Pua (photo).
However, a brochure from MAHB's own website clearly states that KLIA2 is positioned to be the biggest terminal for low-cost carriers, he said.
"So which is right? The marketing brochure on MAHB’s website or the latest statement to deflect blame from the massive hike for passenger service charge (PSC) at KLIA2?
"However, regardless of whether MAHB wants to call KLIA2 a 'hybrid airport' as it did earlier in 2013, or a 'second permanent terminal for KLIA' as it did yesterday, the fact remains that KLIA2 has at all times since its approval by the cabinet, been intended specifically to serve as a new 'low-cost carrier terminal' to replace the old makeshift LCCT."
On MAHB stating that KLIA2 is a "second permanent terminal of KLIA”, which had implied no differentiated service quality between KLIA and KLIA2, Pua believes that the statement was made to justify the equal PSC to be imposed on both terminals.
Meanwhile, on MAHB which claimed that it had explained the matter in relation to the cost of KLIA2 to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Pua reminded the airport operator that the PAC report on MAHB had concluded that the excuses given by the top management of MAHB were "misleading, untenable and unjustifiable".
Pua cited then PAC chairperson Nur Jazlan Mohamed (photo) who said that MAHB was “not being customer-centric” when “MAHB should be building airports for people to use and not determine what people should use”.
"The PAC had strongly criticised MAHB’s arrogance for intentionally abstaining from engagement with its key customers like AirAsia when designing and constructing the airport.
"The PAC report had concluded that 'Malaysia has lost a golden opportunity to develop the most competitive low-cost carrier hub in the Asia Pacific region'.
"Today, Malaysians have to pay for the follies of MAHB with a massive 46 percent hike in PSC," said Pua.
Come Jan 1, the PSC rate for all international destinations from any Malaysian airport will be RM73.
The current PSC rate applicable at non-Asean international destinations from KLIA2 is RM50.