Minister of Transport: AirAsia has settled debt amounting to RM80 million which is all airport taxes collected in advance by the airline
Tuan Wee Choo Keong [ Wangsa Maju ] minta MENTERI PENGANGKUTAN menyatakan mengapa Kementerian tidak mengarahkan MAHB untuk mengambil tindakan undang-undang terhadap AirAsia kerana gagal membayar hutangnya berjumlah RM110 juta termasuk ‘Airport Tax’ yang telah dikutip daripada penumpang penumpangnya dan memberhentikan AirAsia daripada menggunakan LCCT sehingga ia menyelesaikan pembayaran ‘Airport Tax’ seperti mana tindakan yang dikenakan kepada Pelangi Air sebelum ini.
Tuan Yang Di Pertua
Persoalan berhubung hutang AirAsia kepada MAHB telah pun dijawab semasa sesi penggulungan Rang Undang-Undang Perbekalan 2009 Kementerian Pengangkutan pada 3 November 2008, di mana pihak MAHB dan AirAsia telah memaklumkan bahawa kedua-dua pihak telah mencapai jalan penyelesaian dan persertujuan dalam menangani isu pembayaran hutang tertunggak tersebut.
Oleh sebab jalan penyelesian telash dicapai oleh kedua-dua pihak yang terlibat, maka Kementerian mengaggap perkara ini telah selesai dan tidak ada sebab untuk pihak Kerajaan mengarahkan MAHB mengambil tindakan kea atas AirAsiaberhubung perkara ini.
It was due to the pressure exerted in Parliament that AirAsia settled the outstanding Airport Tax amounting to RM80 million. It must be noted that during the Parliamentary session in July the Minister of Transport informed Parliament that since 2002 AirAsia owed MAHB the sum of RM110 million being outstanding Airport Tax and etc. It is general knowledge that passengers paid their Airport Taxes at the time when they paid for their fares.
I am also certain that since 2002 until now there were many passengers who didn’t travel and their airfares were forfeited and at the same time the Airport Taxes that had been collected by AirAsia were not refunded. Under such circumstance, the Airport Taxes collected by AirAsia should be refunded to the passengers. I shall pursue this point with the Minister of Transport during the debate during the Committee Stage because AirAsia did not refund the Airport Taxes to the passengers. In fact, under such circumstance all airlines must refund the Airport Taxes that have been collected in advance.
The pertinent question to ask the Minister of Transport is: On what basis did MAHB allowed AirAsia to owe RM110 million since 2002? From my understanding, no government agencies will allow any company to owe taxes – be it income tax or any other forms of taxes for 6 long years (2002 until 2008). The Minister of Transport must answer to Parliament why was AirAsia accorded with such special treatment whereby no action was taken until I brought the non-payment of Airport Taxes and etc to the attention of Parliament.
If I am not mistaken, many years ago Pelangi Air did owe MAHB (not to the tune of RM110 million) and MAHB stopped the airline from using all the airport facilities and Pelangi Air collapsed soon thereafter. By coincidence at that material time, Pelangi Air was owned by Terengganu government and it was under PAS.