Late night flights for voters


AYER HITAM: The Transport Ministry has requested the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to allow late night flights during the general election, says its minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He said this would help those planning to return home to vote as well as ease flight traffic and operations.

“Without compromising on the safety of the flights, we have requested Mavcom look into the possibility of operating flights at midnight as it would be less congested during these hours.

“This means that our airports will be operating in the wee hours so that we can bring home those who want to vote,” he said after attending the Bantuan Lesen Memandu Keluarga Malaysia (BLKM) closing ceremony at SMK Suria, Parit Raja, here yesterday.

Dr Wee said he welcomed efforts by airlines to increase their flight frequencies during this period.

“Our main concern right now is whether our airlines have the capacity to increase their frequency, but if they do, we will welcome it.

“We also hope that they will not increase their flight ticket prices,” he said, adding that any competition to reduce prices would be good.

Smile, everyone: Dr Wee taking a wefie with the public at the BLKM closing ceremony at SMK Suria, Parit Raja, Ayer Hitam. — THOMAS YONG/The StarSmile, everyone: Dr Wee taking a wefie with the public at the BLKM closing ceremony at SMK Suria, Parit Raja, Ayer Hitam. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

Dr Wee said Mavcom recently said that it would monitor the pricing of flight tickets to ensure that airlines would not hike prices arbitrarily in light of the general election.

For bus ticket prices, he said their prices were regulated by law and he had asked the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) to approve any request made by bus companies to increase the frequencies of their trips.

On the BLKM programme, Dr Wee said that about two-thirds of fatal accidents in the country involve motorcyclists, although accident cases showed a decline in the past three years.

He added that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) recorded more than 6,000 fatal accident reports in 2019 and the decline was due to Covid-19 movement control orders.

“In 2020, we recorded about 4,600 fatal accident cases, and in 2021, we recorded 4,500 cases.

“In general, in all of the reported fatal cases, around 64% to 67% involved motorcyclists, which is still a very huge number despite the decline (in accidents),” he said.

Dr Wee said that to address this matter, the JPJ has introduced the BLKM initiative for the lower income group.

He added that the initiative, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on March 13, aimed to help the B40 group get B2 class driving licences.

“By providing them with the BLKM aid, we can at least ensure that motorcyclists, especially the youths, are protected and insured so that in case something bad happens, their families can claim some form of compensation.”

As at Oct 29, a total of 2,000 recipients have received the aid, most of whom stay in Selangor, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak.

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