MIRI: The Government has been urged to absorb the fuel surcharge and airport tax for civil servants who are eligible for free airfare to their home states between Peninsula Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak.
Free airfare alone is not really free travel because the surcharges and taxes can be even more than the airfares, said Sarawak Teachers Union president William Gani Bina, who is also the state Labour Union vice-president.
He added that civil servants in Sarawak hope the Government could make a decision on this soon.
“We are grateful that effective January next year government servants will get free airfare to their homes states once a year, as announced during the tabling of the new Budget (last Friday).
“It will benefit a lot of government servants. We have 35,000 teachers serving in Sarawak; a large number of them are from other states.
“We have thousands of government servants from other departments who are also from other states. Thousands of Sarawakians are also serving in other states as well, so many will benefit.
“The Government should pay for everything and make it totally free,” he said when interviewed yesterday.
Gani stressed that many teachers serving in remote parts of Sarawak spent a lot of time travelling from one village to the next just to get to the nearest rural airport in order to fly to the main airport in the cities or towns, before getting a connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur and back to their home states.