KUALA LUMPUR — March 20, 2019: Certain parties in the country and abroad are interested in buying Malaysia Airlines but the Malaysian government will first undertake a study on the national carrier.
“Certain parties are keen to purchase MAS and we are not rejecting the offers. We want to study whether we need to sell (the airline) or not. Even when we appoint managers from abroad, MAS has continued to suffer losses,” Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.
When asked about the suggestion by former Malaysia Airlines senior executives that the airline should remain under the government, Mahathir said this will be considered.
“I love MAS. I want MAS to be the national airline but it looks as if we cannot afford it,” he remarked.
He further commented that the previous government’s strategy of providing RM6 billion to the airline and retrenching 6.000 employees also did not bring profits and left many aircraft not fully utilised.
“After dismissing 6,000 employees, MAS was not flying as it used to be, meaning the staff reduction did not make a difference. If we reduce the number of staff and maintain the previous status, then there will be savings,” he said.
It was reported on March 5 that Khazanah Nasional, the government’s investment fund, suffered a RM7.3-billion depreciation last year, largely contributed by Malaysia Airlines.
Khazanah is MAS’ only shareholder after having taken over the airline in 2014. It injected RM6 billion into the airline. — Bernama