Friday, June 28, 2019

How Mahathir destroyed MAS

From Malaysiakini:

Yoursay: How long more can the gov’t maintain MAS' life support?

Yoursay  |  Published: 
YOURSAY | ‘MAS’ legacies personify the worst of crony capitalism.’
Malaysian: 2017/2018 profits for American Airlines: US$1.15 billion; United Airlines: US$962 million; Delta Airlines: US$805 million; Southwest Airlines: US$563 million.
The root of the Malaysia Airlines’ problem lies in Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's horrible legacy. Mahathir took a profitable MAS and gave it to his crony, Tajudin Ramli, for a song.
It was the same with Proton. Look at Proton under Geely leadership. It is already profitable within two years.
We need to do the same with MAS. Forget the crony-race factor and you will have success. Everything is about good leadership - it begins and ends with this.
Teh Tarik: It's AirAsia which has made Kuala Lumpur a major airline hub in Asia. MAS has played second fiddle to AirAsia.
In the recent Skytrax survey, the ranking of AirAsia (a budget airline) was much higher than MAS (a full-service airline). Shame on the management of MAS for its dismal ranking.
Just close the airline and save taxpayers’ funds. MAS today is of negligible strategic importance to the country. Instead, it is a huge burden on the nation's coffers.
Why the hell should anyone listen to the veterans of the airlines. It is not their money that is being used for bailouts.
Vent: Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman (CEO and MD at MAS from 1982 to 1992) was just plain lucky he took over from Saw Huat Lye, the first chief operating officer (1972–1982) who is reported to have said, “We were the underdogs.... We had to do everything ourselves, design our logo, decide on toothpicks, learn to create a flight kitchen ... our families did not see us for almost two years. Our home was our office. Every Sunday, every holiday, we worked.”
That was the reason - i.e, hard work - that MAS took off three months ahead of schedule on Oct 1, 1972, with help from Qantas experts.
Abdul Aziz should be grateful he had an easy ride on the back of the hard work put in by Saw and others.
Abdul Aziz was the company secretary and director of legal affairs from 1971-81, but likes to crow about how he, as CEO, turned the airline into a household name, and is largely credited with its success too, thanks to the revisionist writing of our past by the ketuanan press and academia.
Abdul Aziz shouldn’t be barking from the sidelines, especially after Mahathir handed it over to a favoured Malay entrepreneur, Tajudin Ramli, who had to contend with diminishing returns he simply couldn’t handle, and F&B (food and beverage) vendors and cleaning and waste disposal contractors who were bleeding MAS.
Thana55: Spot on economist KS Jomo. Abdul Aziz, please do not pretend to be the man during the successful years. Saw Huat Lye is the person who should claim that credit.
There is no more niche in the airline industry for MAS to tap in a commercially viable way. Further, with so many low-cost carriers, KLIA is not a hub airport like Changi, Hong Kong or Bangkok.
It is a different ball game now. So my advice to the government is sell MAS.
Tidak Harapan: Indeed, you don't resuscitate a body that is comatose. You put it out of its misery in the name of taxpayers.
Bumiputera-ism and cronyism have combined to kill off this airline in a very competitive industry.
The lessons of the past have not been learned.
The stubborn, fossilised policy of Mahathir continues unabated in relation to MAS and the national car.
Alunan Ombak: Let it go! Already, too much bleeding; already, too frequent blood transfusions. The body is spent and wrecked beyond repair. It is suffering from chronic lethargy.
How long more can our irrational, foolish government maintain its life support? It is time now to pull the plug. Foolish pride, Mahathir.
Salvage Malaysia: Cathay Pacific is not known as Hong Kong Airlines, and it’s owned by Swire Pacific, not the Hong Kong government.
Why is PM so fixated for any potential investor to stick to the national identity? If someone is going put in billions, he should have a free hand to rename the airline to remove the stigma. That’s why you have AirAsia and not Air Malaysia.
Anonymous_1399778124: Let's call a spade a spade. The last few times the government bailed out MAS, it was handed to cronies. So who's to blame?
It was as if government coffers were bottomless. So we inherited the culture and problems from those days. And it will take more than a spade to clean the mess. This is why the rakyat are angry.
AnotherKomenter: MAS’ legacies personify the worst of crony capitalism of the past. Its feasibility and survival will be decided by how much political will Mahathir can marshal to make unpopular decisions based on rational common sense.
The common sense is stop thinking that MAS can be profitable if it’s run like a plaything of politicians with confused racial, religious and political agendas.


  1. So why didn't Badawi and Jibby fix MAS for FIFTEEN YEARS? 2003-2018. Was it because someone had a one-sided catering contract?

  2. MAS failed not just because of one man called TDM who happens to be the PM and tried to privatized it. It was also all the successive PMs after him who also sees it as an UMNO political enterprise entity to be saved and bailout time and again.

    It failed because politicians and their cronies took it as a company to be runned like an UMNO party to enjoy the perks, subsidies, posts, benefits, priviledges and milked it as they pleased knowing full well there is a big fat rich Govt. controlled by UMNO also previously to come to the rescue and bail out the company whenever it gets into trouble under the name of Nationalism and protecting jobs of Malays.

    The signs are all there, if one wants to see it and not befuddled by other reasons and excuses given umpteened time and again whenever there is a crisis in MAS. Otherwise explain why:

    1. Air Asia can be profitable as an airline and not MAS and also compare it with other nearby National airlines who also operate like MAS but are also profitable.

    2. Operating an Airline business is a cut throat business to be profitable and to remain as one and definitely it has shown over the years that MAS is not able to be competitive nor have the right management to make it as a competitive and profitable one. It failed too many times even though it tried to even acquire professionals to revive it.

    No business can ever be profitable when made into a politically runned enterprise, decisions made due to political considerations and the attitude or competency of Management and workers are also subjected to political considerations.

    MAS should have been renamed as UMNO Airline a long time ago to put it in a better perspective.

    Why must Malaysians thru the Govt. pay and bailout an airline which is actually a politically enterprised company continuously needing bailouts and rescue?

    It would be more patriotic to save the country's finances from wastages and abuses in rescuing and bailing out MAS and instead give it to the poor via BSH to benefit the B40 and millions of citizens and also stop at the same time to continuously feed a mismanaged and non-competitive politically linked enterprise which only benefits a few hundred thousands.

    1. He did the most severe damage to MAS just as he did to the Judiciary, Senate and Civil Service - such was his Minus (not Midas) Touch that nothing would ever be the same once he passed his destructive touch on them

    2. Mamak's ONLY fault in the cases u mentioned were not appointing personalities of substances to man his pet projects.

      If he had gotten the right person to head his ideas (political, judicial & business), PERHAPS so good would come out of them.

      Just like what Tunku Abd Rahman did to the administration under his cares.

      Similarly with what Lao Lee did to RedDot.

      The more rightly candidate for the blame IS the lack of mental maturity of the appointed melayu to raise up to the challenges.

      Wakakakaka… PD again, bigot or not!

    3. this is MY blog after all, wakakaka

    4. So u r entitled to fart as u like?

      Just like yr sifu!

      Memang a chip of the old block.