Who is 4PAM to complain about Mavcom and protection money?

Mavcom appears to be looking after the rights of travellers. (AFP pic)

I refer to the recent press statement by Persatuan Pengguna Pengangkutan Malaysia (4PAM) with regards to Mavcom.

Any frequent traveller in Malaysia will know what kind of response one can expect when complaints are lodged with the airlines. First, you will get the immediate standard reply (“to impress only”) that your complaint has been received and forwarded to the relevant departments. Believe me, and many would agree, that would be the only reply if you do not follow up. And follow up many times.

How frustrating has this been? Thus it was a positive development when Mavcom was created. But the nagging thought has always been – will they not be subservient to their masters i.e. the government, if they were not independent, but depended on the government for funds?

Thus I was happy that passengers will be funding Mavcom and in all ways they will have to look after the genuine and valid interest of the customers who support them. More so in Malaysia 2.0 where the rakyat reign supreme.

To quench my curiosity I had look at their website and was glad that this “organisation” that is accused of collecting “protection money” has got its accounts uploaded for public view and that, too, audited and certified by the Auditor-General.

And uploaded too were news of all their activities including complaints attended too. Looking at the quality of their work we cannot but accept that the rights of passengers are being looked after quite well. Well, far better than before Mavcom’s existence.

And I notice that 4PAM was in existence 3 years before Mavcom but there were not many activities. Fact is being a frequent traveller I have never heard of them. The dearth of activities for 4PAM could be due to the fact they are a volunteer organisation and lack funds.

Many would agree in our country that funds from the government would normally have a caveat which would at times hinder proper performance. Independent funding would ensure performance without fear or favour which I think is what we are all looking for.

Thus the small “protection money” of RM1 is in this instance a worthwhile payment. We, the consumers, are paying, we are the boss and Mavcom is answerable to us. I have no argument with that in Malaysia 2.0.

SP Nathan is an FMT reader.

The views expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.