Sky51, EQ KL, December 3, 2019. GLENN GUAN/The Star

‘The state of the national carrier is the result of cronyism and poor management.’

Nufam urges transparency over MAS takeover offers

Apa Harapan: The state of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is the result of cronyism and poor management due to bumiputera policies. There needs to be a major overhaul of MAS which includes retrenchment of staff.

The government must let go of MAS and let a private enterprise restructure it without interference. It has cost taxpayers of billions of ringgit over the years.

Tenfold: The downslide of MAS began in 1994 when businessman Tajudin Ramli took loans from several GLCs (government-linked companies) totalling RM1.79 billion to buy a controlling stake in MAS, a move that would cost the government dearly (as it had to buy back the company seven years later at an inflated price after Tajudin messed it up).

Tajudin was no aviation man. He placed his cronies in all divisions of the airlines and they robbed MAS by selling its assets. From that point on, the company never recovered.

MAS will require a massive mindset change to turn it around, but will it be allowed to do so?

Clever Voter: MAS suffers the same symptoms of any GLC – heavy at the top, a badly managed supply chain and corrupt political patronage.

To begin with, the top management has a bloated structure from the board right down to the management level which must be replaced with more competent people.

MAS needs a sound and forward-looking chief executive officer with a firm grip on cash management, supply chain and business acumen.

Puzzling: The aviation industry is a fiercely competitive business and only the fittest will survive. Therefore, it must be led by the most qualified people and there should be no room for deadwood.

If the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) can accept these principles, then there is a good chance that MAS will thrive again.

If not, Khazanah Nasional can call in the undertakers.

Anonymous_1552707885: Nufam, for decades MAS has been sucking the blood of the people to stay afloat.

So may I ask, why do you worry about who would be taking over the airlines? AirAsia has a better management record compared to MAS.

Remember, no freeloading in the corporate world. Your sense of entitlement ends with the end of BN rule.

A Malaysian Malaysia: If a business is losing money, who is Nufam to make demands? The losses suffered by MAS has been going on for decades. Who is going to take the blame for it?

And please, no more bailouts using taxpayers’ money.

Donplaypuks: Under Khazanah’s screwed-up mismanagement, MAS has lost over RM6 billion since 2014. It is currently losing in excess of RM3 million a day or RM1 billion a year.

A turnaround? I don’t think Khazanah/MAS will be able to do it.

Anonymous_062ba9bf: Do what you want to do but please don’t bleed the rakyat anymore as opposed to protecting a small group.

The government is doing a great injustice to the rakyat by repeatedly bailing out this GLC.

AnotherKomentar: Any privatisation of MAS must not follow with the old formula of cronyism.

Some in the Pakatan Harapan government might like AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes and might lobby for him to take over MAS.

However, the Finance Ministry and the cabinet must not offer another sweetheart deal.

Just A Malaysian: Proton is a good example. After Geely from China took over the management of the company, they made a profit of US$40 million in the third quarter of 2019.

Proton cars begin to grab attention with their quality and price, and everyone benefitted from the move.

MAS should be sold to or managed by the best. No more messing it up with race and religion ideologies. Enough money had been wasted.

Jaded: MAS is the saddest story. The inefficiency and ineffectiveness of this company is just appalling. The check-in lines are always long and the staff take forever to check and collect luggage.

One may see this as an operational issue but complacency, inefficiency and ineffectiveness is the exact thing that has affected the entire organisation.

Falcon: In the real world, transparency is vital. But in Malaysia, we have endless possibilities and coincidences that do not help our cause.

It is made worse by the overpowering subsidy mentality from the cradle to the grave in a make-believe world.

Anonymous_3925G: An Indian grocery kiosk which has been operating in my housing area since the 1970s is still going on strong.

To my knowledge, the owner never asked for a bailout from anyone, even during the economic crisis in the mid-1990s.

I wonder how he managed to maintain his business all this while. Maybe MAS can learn a thing or two from him.

Anonymous_83737659: More than 25 years ago, then prime minister Mahathir tried to solve the MAS problem. In so doing, he had made it worse (by allowing Tajudin to take over the company).

Today, Mahathir is back as PM. And he is still trying to solve the MAS problem.

Let’s hope that we need not talk about this MAS problem in 2025. But don’t hold your breath.