PETALING JAYA – Former Malaysia Airlines CEO Abdul Aziz Rahman has agreed with the call by the National Union of Flight Attendants (Nufam) for a review of the airline’s management, saying it has “slipped away” from its purpose since he left 20 years ago.
“The government really needs to review the company again,” he told FMT. “Even AirAsia is bigger than Malaysia Airlines.”
For Malaysia Airlines to become great again, he added, the government needed to invest in it.
“The company needs to be run with mission and vision. We want an airline that can move all around the world, not only within the region.”
He said one of the things he was “very sad” about was the aviation engineering at the airline.
“When I left Malaysia Airlines in 1992, our engineering department was one of the biggest in the world, but now it is not the same.
“We had our own trained engineers who were world class. But we sacked them as part of those 6,000 staff.”
He was referring to the 6,000 employees who were laid off in 2015 as part of the restructuring plan undertaken by the management at the time.
Nufam has urged the Pakatan Harapan government to review all of Malaysia Airline’s issues including alleged leakages and mismanagement.
Its president Ismail Nasaruddin claimed the amount of losses recorded over the years was RM15 billion and that there had been no improvement after the restructuring of the airline.
He also said there were “quite a number” of political appointees on the board of management.
However, Aziz said whether the board of directors comprised political appointees or not was not the issue.
He said anyone could run the airline if they had the ability and knowledge to improve the system.
“Nufam is right too, that it is not right to have the same people continue managing the airline when it is not making profits.”
FMT has contacted Malaysia Airlines and is waiting for its response.