KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Economist Nungsari Ahmad Radhi has urged for the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) to remain independent ahead of its pending merger with the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom),

Nungsari, who had a stint as Mavcom’s executive chairman during the 2018 Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, said independence is crucial to assure investors and industry players that the regulatory regimes are transparent, fair and independent of interference.

“Will it still be there? Government sets policies and legislates laws but the implementation of those laws via regulations and its enforcement must be and be seen as independent.

“Otherwise, the industry will not grow as investors don’t see a transparent and independent regulator,” he told Malay Mail in a brief interview yesterday.

Nungsari also questioned how CAAM would finance a larger portfolio as it departs from its initial sole technical oversight responsibility.

“It is also true, still true, that CAAM does not have the financial resources to assume more roles,” he said, adding that Mavcom was amply funded by the RM1 Regulatory Services Charge on each departing passenger.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Transport tabled two Bills that would disband Mavcom and fold its functions into CAAM, nearly five years after it was first proposed by the then, and current Transport Minister Anthony Loke in 2019, and backed by the ruling coalition in 2020 after the abrupt shift of power.

Nungsari said that the Covid-19 pandemic, however, put a damper on things.

A former Mavcom staff, Nungsari was appointed its executive chairman by Loke in July 2018 after its previous chairman General (Rtd) Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad stepped down following public uproar over the latter’s RM 85,000 monthly pay.

Loke then announced that Nungsari’s pay was around RM15,000, a fraction of the Abdullah’s wage.

Nungsari also divulged that while Mavcom was once able to attract top talents in all its roles, many have left after the merger was suggested.

“I’m sure many have left with this merger proposal but since same functions will hopefully remain in the merged entity, talent and organisational resources needs to be there,” he said.

The merger is aimed to streamline the country’s aviation oversight by integrating Mavcom’s responsibilities in finance, commerce and economics with CAAM’s focus on technical aspects, and to reduce bureaucratic red tape, enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the civil aviation service delivery system, particularly in licensing service.

Loke reportedly said the merged entity would be an independent statutory body under his ministry.

Read to know more about Mavcom and what happens next: All you need to know about: Mavcom’s dissolution and merger with CAAM

2024-06-24T23:05:04Z dg43tfdfdgfd