Tuesday, 1st April, 2003


  Kadir proposes separate airline for Sabah, Sarawak
  MIRI:  Sabah and Sarawak should look into the possibility of setting up a separate regional airline to facilitate travel to the two states, Federal Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said.

He said the two territories could embark on a joint venture with the private sector to set up the airline as part of efforts to help solve tje problem of air accessibility.

"Sabah and Sarawak" can have significant equities in the proposed airline company to bring in tourists," he said at a welcome dinner to delegates of the Malaysia Tourism Development Committee Meeting here on Sunday night.

His ministry had also requested Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to provide connecting flights to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching once its direct flights to several cities in China, including Guangzhou, Wuhan and Sinjiang commenced.

MAS would also offer budget fares through special packages being promoted among domestic and foreign tourists, he said. He noted that the Sarawak Government had invested about RM1 billion over the last 10 years in the tourism sector and tourism-related infreastructure.

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud was confident Sabah and Sarawak had the leverage to attract other airlines to the two states.

He said the two states were not competing with the rest of Malaysia but had a complimentary role to entice repeat visitors to the two stated to go to places of interests in the peninsula such as Langkawi, Gunung Tahan and the East Coast. Through the East Asean Growth area ( EAGA (, Sabah and Sarawk are alo working closely with Brunei in the tourism sector, he said.

For example, he said 5000,000 foreigners consider having connecting flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and Miri, he said - Bernama