Today the Government has tabled a Bill in Parliament to amend the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (MAVCOM) to give more power to MAVCOM to regulate unfair practices of all airlines flying out from Malaysia.
The explanatory statement of the Bill states:
“This Bill seeks to amend the MAVCOM Act 2015 (“Act 771”) to further enhance the effectiveness of the Commission in exercising its function and powers under the Act.”
PROTECTING THE RIGHTS AND INTEREST OF THE CONSUMERS
More importantly, “The Bill also seeks to ensure that that the Commission will continuously have sufficient financial resources for protecting the rights and interest of the consumers and the development of the aviation industry in Malaysia.”.
TO REGULATE UNFAIR AND ARBITRARY FEES AND CHARGES
“Clause 7 of the said Bill seeks to introduce a new paragraph (fa) into subsection 69 (1) of the Act 771 to empower the Commission to regulate unfair and arbitrary fees and charges imposed by the provider of aviation services in order to safeguard consumer interest.”
CONSUMERS ARE IN THE POSITION OF INEQUALITY OF BARGAINING POWER
The introduction of this Bill is very timely in order to put an end to the power of airlines from imposing unfair charges, which are contrary to the interest of the travelling public/consumers. Yours truly believes that airlines could still impose charges and fees but after the passing of this Bill they will have to justify each and every proposed charges to MAVCOM that its new charges are fair.
All Malaysians should welcome this Bill as it is set out to protect the interest of the travelling public/consumers and is good for the development of the aviation industry in Malaysia. Malaysia badly needed this Bill be passed soon to stop airlines from arbitrarily imposing unfair charges and fees. It must be noted that more often than not that the consumers are in the position of inequality of bargaining power and in certain cases they have no alternative but to travel on certain airlines to the intended destination.
CONSUMER PROTECTION LEGISLATIONS SHOULD BE A PRIOTY
It is high time the Government should put into motion more of such consumer protection legislations to be passed by Parliament to promote an orderly market that protect the interest of the consumers generally.
It is an open secret that an airline threw a special lunch briefing on the Bill for the opposition MPs. Such practice should be encouraged and open to all MPs to attend so that the Bill could be properly debated in the best interest of the nation.