On March 12, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad revealed that measurements will be taken to resolve Malaysia Airline’s financial dilemma after sustaining losses since 2014. One of the options Tun M considered was to shut down MAS for good.
“We will nevertheless study… whether we should shut it down, sell it off or refinance it. All of these are open for the government to (consider),” – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad
Since MAS privatisation in 2014, the aviation company has reportedly been on life support from the government’s sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, with a whopping RM7.3 billion impairments reported in the past year. Khazanah was supposed to be Malaysia Airlines’ saviour to revive the company as part of a 5 year programme.
Former Prime Minister Najib Razak put himself on the spotlight for suggesting that the government shouldn’t sell MAS as it is the pride and joy of Malaysia. He added that the turnaround plan he initiated during his tenure as the chairman of Khazanah was working, but just need some time.
Najib’s also stated that selling or closing it down is definitely the wrong move, and would come under fire as the rakyat will not support their decision.
On another constructive perspective, Minister of Economic Affairs Azmin Ali said that he hopes Khazanah can find a better approach to overcome the constant losses of the aviation company. He added that the Prime Minister has already given opinions and now waiting for an effective solution for the airline’s current situation.
As word on MAS potentially being sold, thoughts about its situation poured over the social media.
Most posted about how its management has led to its downfall, suggesting a new management should take over.
Whereas some want to see the national airlines shine again like its glory days.
Despite making losses, MAS won an award for being the best airline in Asia at ITB Berlin, the same international travel trade show where Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohammaddin Ketapi said that homosexuals did not exists in Malaysia.
Voted by a jury of officials and travelers, MAS claimed the title for its range of positive developments like new aircraft, products, and digital innovations.
Clearly, MAS has the potential to reinstate their name in the aviation industry, but what’s holding it back? Does it really need to be sold off to make up for its losses? Or perhaps the people are right, an upper management reshuffle will revive the company.