KUALA LUMPUR – The Human Resources Ministry is not obligated under the law to provide an explanation to the 3,600 Malaysia Airlines (MAS) staff who were laid off two years ago.
Its minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot said a written explanation will be sent out to the retrenched staff through the ministry’s Industrial Relations Department, adding that some 1,500 letters have already been sent out.
“We have written to every single individual who were laid off by MAS through our Industrial Relations Department. Right now, we have written to 1,500 individuals giving full explanations. To me, this is sufficient to provide an answer. Under the law, we are not required to give an explanation,” he told the media after the closing ceremony of the Asean Productivity-Linked Wage Conference (Asean-PLIC) at the Pullman Hotel Kuala Lumpur today.
In 2015, MAS retrenched 6,000 workers, of which 3,600 took their cases up to the Human Resources Ministry.
Two years down the line, the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) said they have not heard anything from the ministry and no referrals have been made to the Industrial Court.
Riot said that given that MAS is no longer in existence, the ministry cannot go after the company.
The complete takeover process of MAS by Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), is expected to be completed by next year.
“MAS is no longer in existence. And according to the law, we cannot go after a company which has been declared bankrupt because it is no longer in existence,” he said.
Riot added that no individual can be penalised as well once the company has been declared as bankrupt.
When pressed further on the two-year delay, the Director General of the Department of Industrial Relations Malaysia Khalid Jalil said it was due to the moratorium.
The moratorium which details the transition of the business, property, rights, liabilities and affairs of MAS to MAB was extended to May 24 this year.
However, MAB commenced full airline operations on Sept 1, 2015, and MAS ceased operations on the same day.