The sad story of MAS


Were these the reasons to disembowel MAS in the first place? (1) MAS suffers leadership problem. (2) it can’t handle rising fuel costs. (2) MAS is caught in the traditionally weakest business period. Are we being led to believe that these 3 what? Parameters? variables? are only unique to MAS?

Then perhaps MAS should look for alternative fuels since it is suggestive that ONLY MAS operates on expensive fuels, other airlines are not. Two, find ways to make the business period nontraditional. Replace leadership at all levels.

Its leadership they say. You mean, under the layer upon layer of MAS in-house talent, you can’t find people who may have been sidelined or ignored but who understand MAS cannot be elevated to fix MAS? Instead you think you can trust some people who have RM 57 billion payables to help put MAS?  This order for Air Bus by AA was perhaps the kiss of life that saved Airbus from bankruptcy.

The whole deal between MAS-AA raises uneasiness all around for it suggest that at the very base, MAS’s miserable existence gave an opportunity and excuse for some people to make money. That when the dust clears, we will become aware that all this is a corporate game by rich and powerful people for the benefit of the same rich and powerful people.

Why should the fate of MAS (we are not bothered with the future of AA since it’s in capable hands) be decided by 3-4 corporate chieftains- banker, rival airline owner and chief of our sovereign fund? Who yielded the responsibility of caring a national asset to a few chosen individuals? Why was this assignment to decide the fate of a nationally owned asset not be publicly announced in the first place?

Since everyone accepts that MAS MUST be placed on an even keel, a cabinet level working committee should have been duly formed to fix MAS? Or the cabinet decides at that time, to empower the MOT to fix MAS problem. Unless of course the MOT is full of imbeciles who never inspire our government to allow it do anything. With an unenviable record like the PKFZ deal, MOT was never in the radar when the government was looking for ways to fix MAS.

MAS is a national strategic asset that requires leadership and a workable and profitable business plan. MAS is the responsibility of the government in the first and all place. We didn’t see the MOF or Ministry of Transport people or a cabinet endorsed team assigned to fix MAS. Instead, this government has acted irresponsibly by asking or agreeing to have the problem of MAS being sorted out by special interest groups. That’s what they are really- AA, Khazanah and CIMB as the match maker, are special interest groups.

We are being indoctrinated and de-sensitize into believing that the MAS-AA deal is a purely rational business deal, handled on its pure merits. We looked around, identified MAS’s problems, we come to the conclusion that its leadership problem.

Who were that we? We are the banker, the head of sovereign fund and the interested rival.

Surely, when the deal was inked, those people in Khazanah, AA and CIMB already knew of the coming 2nd quarter financials of MAS. For the miserable losses, cumulative at .769 billion, the outfgoing MAS CEO was given 11 million shares? Further he’s saved from ignominy and inglorious anonymity by being exiled into the inner recesses of the establishment that is now single handedly running the business of Malaysia- khazanah.

So we are treated to another round of CYA rationalization- MAS recently announced a net loss of RM527 million for the second quarter of 2011.

Due to what we may ask? Due to higher fuel costs and (be) anyway, you can almost imagine the MAS people through its corporate communications people say, this 2nd quarter is traditionally our weakest business period.