By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, June 5: Loss-making Malaysia Airlines must be salvaged, similar to what the federal government did with Proton, opined Santubong MP Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said the national carrier, as the country’s international symbol, must continue to fly.
“We should not sell our international airline. If the government can’t handle it, let it be like Proton, even though we lost billions. Similarly, MAS is our pride, so we must save it,” Wan Juniadi told reporters at the Chief Minister’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.
The former federal Minister of Natural Resources and Environment said MAS used to be a profitable firm, but it started to nosedive when the government privatised it in the 1990s.
“MAS shares were traded on the Bursa Malaysia then and was only RM3.10 per share, but the government bought it for RM8 per share. But we do not know where the money went to. And from then on, it started to decline,” he said.
Wan Junaidi also blamed the airline’s previous management for their inability to salvage the company amidst increasing stiff global competition.
“Before this, MAS management sold off lucrative routes to Emirates. Then we only have four international routes to Europe left, namely Istanbul, Frankfurt, Paris and London. As a minister, I have used all these routes, and they were never empty,” he said.
He opined that Malaysians were capable of turning around Malaysia Airlines.
“We should get people like Tan Sri Aziz Abdul Rahman to advise how to manage it,” he said.
On the appointment of former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader Latheefa Koya as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) new chief, Wan Junaidi viewed it as political in nature.
“Can we expect justice? Justice must be seen to be done. This is the principle of law,” he said.
Wan Junaidi believed public perception would make it difficult for Latheefa to carry out her duties impartially due to her political background.
“But I saw one (thing) that no one feels demoralised in (MACC) even though everybody is expected to be promoted. Then all of a sudden somebody is plucked in. I have nothing personal against Latheefa,” he added.
Latheefa is the first woman to lead the country’s anti-graft agency when she took over the top post from Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull effective June 1 under a 2-year contract. — DayakDaily