Fly MAS by all means, but leave its management to professionals, politicians told

Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

KUCHING, March 21: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) should be run and managed by professionals with no involvement of politicians.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing opined that one of the reasons why the national carrier had been experiencing dwindling finances was because there had been too many political hands in its management.

He was commenting on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement yesterday that there was some interest from local parties to buy the airline.

“Politicians shouldn’t interfere with MAS’ management. Let the professionals handle it and politicians just ride on MAS,” said Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure, Development and Transportation.

Dr Mahathir said one option was to sell MAS, but the government might want to maintain a stake in the financially-troubled airline.

“We are looking into it as well. Whether to change management, downsize or upsize, we have a lot of aeroplanes that are not fully utilised, and this causes losses.

“I love MAS. I would like to have it as our national airline, but it seems like we cannot afford it,” he said.

Last week, Dr Mahathir said the government was looking at shutting down, selling off or refinancing the national carrier.

MAS was privatised in 2014, taken over by Khazanah, as part of a revival bid, but it continued its trend of heavy losses.

It suffered a massive blow to its image after Flight MH370 disappeared five years ago with 239 people on board. This tragic episode is considered one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.

In July the same year, MAS lost another plane, MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine. — DayakDaily