Khazanah is party to Malaysia Airlines’ failures
KHAZANAH Nasional Bhd cannot wash its hands off Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s (MAB) woes as the former also played a role in its failures.
Speaking to FocusM, the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) said Khazanah itself lacks internal expertise on crisis management to turnaround the ailing airliner.
“In the past, several local companies have approached Khazanah to either provide consultancy services or produce a turnaround plan to save MAB and make it profitable.
“However, Khazanah dismissed them and decided on hiring foreign consulting companies which neither had local nor international aviation knowledge.
“The recommendations failed miserably as they did not understand MAB’s work culture, business environment and the problems plaguing the national carrier,” said a Nufam official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
On Nov 21, MAB was said to have requested Khazanah for RM2.1 bil capital injection as it was in talks with creditors to restructure its debts.
However, the request received mixed reaction from various quarters. Critics have said that MAB should either merge or wind down its business as too much taxpayers’ funds have been used to assist it.
Training his guns on Khazanah, the Nufam official said the former failed to address MAB’s legacy issues which had resulted in the air carrier to continue underperforming over the years.
“Several of MAB’s liabilities are legacy issues such as the outstanding lease for the six A380 planes. Khazanah still holds the books on this.
“If at all any company wants to take over MAB, Khazanah must deal with these legacy liabilities, which are a major component of the airliner’s operating expenses.
“And who asked Khazanah to buy these expensive planes anyway? They are not able to fly anywhere. They also embark on unsustainable projects and outsource certain function to third parties, which only bled money. Too many leakages here and there,” he further revealed.
The Nufam official added that both the Government and Khazanah are also to be blamed for MAB’s lacklustre top management as the appointments were made by them.
“When the Government keeps appointing people who are not even ‘airline savvy’, what do you expect the outcome would be? They are either political appointees or mere a showcase figure.
“They pay expensive salaries to these people when all they do is trim the workforce. There is just too much political interference aimed at serving the needs of a few,” he said.
Offering a solution, the Nufam official urged the Government to put MAB’s functions under one umbrella – as in the past – and ensure the airliner’s profits stick to the company, instead of being taken elsewhere.