PETALING JAYA – Tan Sri Saw Huat Lye who set up the Malaysia Airlines (then known as Malaysian Airline System) in 1972 died today.

Many Malaysians may not know that he also served as its first general manager and laid the foundations for what was to become a successful airline.

Saw, 71, got his first education at the Penang Free School and upon graduating from high school, furthered his studies at University Malaya in Singapore and graduated with a bachelor degree in economics in 1958.

Saw joined the Malaysian Home and Foreign Service and served in numerous position like Perak state assistant secretary (local council), Taiping City Council chairman, Federal Land assistant commissioner in the Rural Development Ministry as well as Transport Ministry assistant chief secretary.

After retiring from civil services in 1971, Saw led the setting up of MAS following the liquidation of Malaysia-Singapore Airline. He was subsequently appointed as MAS chief executive officer before retiring in 1982.

He also helmed several other positions in the corporate world including the executive director of Naluri Corporation Berhad, chairman for Guinness Anchor Bhd as well as the board of director for several listed companies like Shell Refining Co. (FOM) Bhd.

Saw’s wake is held at Room 22, 2nd floor, Nirvana Memorial Centre, Wisma Nirvana, Jalan 1/116A, Off Jalan Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur.

Funeral cortage leaves for Shah Alam crematorium at 9am on Sunday, Oct 16th.

– Sundaily