Malaysia

MAS will not be privatised, says Najib

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has rejected the suggestion made by Malaysia's longest serving former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad barely 24 hours ago that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) should be privatised because it was running at a loss.

Najib, in disagreeing with Dr Mahathir, instead stressed that the recovery process for the national carrier was already producing results, as losses suffered by MAS had been brought down.

"I wish to make it clear that MAS will not be privatised.

"Even though MAS is still suffering losses, the turnaround process has done a lot of good and there is a downward trend to the huge losses from before," Najib said in a press conference today at the Finance Ministry's Hari Raya open house.

Najib also defended the current MAS management, which he termed as carrying out their duties responsibly.

"MAS is controlled by Khazanah and it is carrying out business like any other commercial company  with good governance," added the prime minister.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir, had called for MAS to be privatised as despite the many turnarounds, the national carrier is still in the red.

The former prime minister was picking up on a comment made by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Idris Jala who had suggested it was time to sell MAS, though not at a loss.

Idris, the former MAS boss, touched on the subject when he gave a speech at the Global Malaysia Series at the Securities Commission last week.

Dr Mahathir said that he strongly believed in privatisation as those who ran the operations would be the ones who will be held accountable.

"I have run a government company before and usually, the main concern there is to create employment. No attention is paid to proper management," Dr Mahathir had said. - August 19, 2013.

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