PM Mahathir: Malaysia Airlines to retain identity even if sold

PM Mahathir: Malaysia Airlines to retain identity even if sold

KUALA LUMPUR: The government would like to sell Malaysia Airlines, but its identity as the national carrier is to be retained, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the government had made a lot of changes to Malaysia Airlines, but each time, it still kept on failing.

“So, this time, we have to be little bit more careful in the steps taken to resuscitate Malaysia Airlines.

“It’s not just the change of management, lots of other things are wrong with the airline, which has to be corrected,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 33rd Asia Pacific Roundtable, here today.

Dr Mahathir was responding to the call by two Malaysia Airlines veterans, including a former CEO, for an overhaul of the carrier’s management after its failure for the fifth year to reach the top 20 in an international survey on airlines.

They said Malaysia Airlines, which instead dropped two spots from 36th in Skytrax’s annual World’s Top 100 Airlines survey, had lost its class.

The National Union of Flight Attendants (Nufam) also called on the Malaysia Airlines management to step down following news that the national carrier had failed to reach the top 20 in the World’s Top 100 Airlines survey for five years now.

Malaysia Airlines has not ranked in the top 20 since 2014 when it occupied 18th spot, dropping from 24th in 2015 to 34th in 2016, bagging 31st spot in 2017 and 34th again last year.

Meanwhile, commenting on the stepping down of Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor as chairman of Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) after just 11 months in the position, Dr Mahathir said he was unwell.

“He is unwell, and as such, has asked to be released,” he added.


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