THE Malaysian Airline System Bhd Employees Union (Maseu) wants a new management team in place, rather than an outright privatisation of the national carrier.
The union does not believe that the current management can return the airline back to profitability.
In its first quarter financial results this year, MAS posted a wider net loss of RM278.83 million, compared with RM171.79 million in the same period last year.
“In 2011, the management promised that MAS will be profitable in two years. Based on the current performance, we do not expect it to materialise.
If Singapore Airlines and AirAsia Bhd can profit, why is MAS not doing the same?” Maseu president Alias Aziz told Business Times in a telephone interview yesterday.
With this in mind, the union is pushing for candidates from inside the company to be given a shot at running the airline.
“We have sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office recently, outlining our proposal,” he said.
Alias said should an internal candidate be given the responsibility to helm MAS, the national carrier will be profitable within six months.
He said for MAS to return and remain in the black, there should be a comprehensive review of all the agreements with third parties, namely MAS Catering Sdn Bhd, Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd and AirAsia Bhd.
“Too many agreements between MAS and other parties were done at the expense of the national carrier. For example, we have RM1 billion worth of aircraft spare parts that are not used. So why did MAS buy it in the first place?” Alias asked.
He said the rationale behind getting internal candidates to run the company is because they are knowledgeable in the aviation industry.
“What the union wants is for someone who understands the airline business to head MAS.
Why not give a chance to a MAS senior staff to run the airline?” Alias said.
He said that Maseu had identified potential candidates for the new management team, but declined to reveal names.
Talk of privatisation of the national carrier gained traction after a former MAS chief executive officer (CEO) said Malaysia should sell the national carrier if the offer price was right.
Datuk Seri Idris Jala, who is now Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and CEO of Performance Management Delivery Unit (Pemandu), reportedly said this at the third Global Malaysia Series on Tuesday.
Pemandu recently stated that it had identified 33 government-linked companies that the government will have to pare down its stake in or exit completely from.
Khazanah Nasional Bhd currently owns 69.37 of MAS while in June this year, the Employees Provident Fund created a record of sorts when it ceased to be the carrier’s key shareholder.
Source: Business TImes