MAS soars on Mahathir’s privatisation views

(The Edge) –  Malaysian Airline Systems Bhd (MAS) saw its share price soaring in very active trades during the morning session, following a statement made by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Yesterday, Mahathir said privatisation could be the answer to MAS’ financial woes.

At 11.58 am today, MAS was the most actively traded counter across the exchange with 453.4 million shares changing hands. Its share price rose 5 sen or 15.15% to 38 sen.

Mahathir reportedly said that privatisation could force the company’s management to turn the flagship carrier back to profitability.

“There are people who think that government linked companies are meant to provide employment opportunities and not to make money for the company or the government,” he said on Sunday.

“Privatising MAS may change this and the airline can probably make money, instead of losses,” he added.

Talk about the sale of MAS resurfaced recently following reports that several had sent in proposals to the government to buy over the loss-making airline.

However in a statement issued by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala, he clarified that the government has no intention of selling the national carrier at the moment.