: MasWing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, will continue to provide rural air services in Sabah and Sarawak for another seven years from 2017 for the benefit of the people in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the government, in principle, had approved the renewal of the contract, which would expire next year, with a total subsidy of RM190 million to cater to the needs of the people in the areas.
"Some interior areas in Sabah and Sarawak could not be reached easily by vehicles and the people there had to rely on low-cost air travel provided by MasWing.
"Hence, the government, through MasWing, helps the people in the affected areas to ensure that the air fares are not too high," he told reporters at a Chinese New Year Open House hosted by Sabah MCA here today.
Liow said the ministry was reviewing MasWing services, currently covering 49 destinations, as it felt certain destinations such as the Sibu-Kota Kinabalu route no longer needed to be subsidised as it was served by commercial flights.
In another development, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the groundbreaking ceremony of the Sabah branch of the Tunku Abdul Rahman University College would be held in April.
Meanwhile, the Sabah MCA's Chinese New Year Open House this morning was graced by Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.
Present were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau, state ministers, and community leaders.