KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): The Opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) wants the terms and benefits accruing to the chief executive officer-designate of Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS NewCo), Christoph R Mueller, ge revealed to demonstrate the national carrier’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
In a statement today in response to government investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s decision to appoint outgoing Aer Lingus chief Mueller, DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the new CEO should also be given the free hand to clean up MAS NewCo by focusing on mismanagement first.
He said the government should not take the easy way out of blaming the 20,000 staff and reducing it by 6,000 to 14,000.
He added that the DAP strongly disagreed with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over Mueller's appointment as chief executive officer-designate of Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS NewCo).
“In fact, it is BN and not Malaysians who is stupid, by relying on racism to cloak incompetent cronies instead of spotting talented Malaysians right before their very eyes such as the Air Asia team of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Datuk Kamarudin Meranon and Azran Osman Rani.
“The success of Air Asia is well-known internationally. Without a single cent in government support and subsidies, they have transformed the airline industry by offering affordable fares where “everyone can fly”, said Lim.
He said the contrast could not be greater.
“MAS recorded huge losses despite the Federal government offering tens of billions of ringgit and charging higher fares whilst Air Asia recorded huge profits despite charging budget fares.
“The secret of Air Asia success is simple and found in all excellent companies – a relentless and rigorous focus on competency, honesty and talent spotting regardless of race or religion,” said Lim.
He stressed that whilst the best and brightest Malaysian and foreigners were appointed in Air Asia, the Malaysian government has adopted a failed approach of not punishing and sometimes even rewarding bad behaviour.
“There is great concern whether this failed approach will be repeated in 1MDB, with RM41.9 billion in debts and some doubts whether its assets can continue to retain its value,” he concluded.