It is quite unbelievable that a paper like the Singapore Business Times could support the Malaysia Airlines-Air Asia share swap and the proposed restructuring without fully knowing how the collaboration plans are to be implemented in substance. 

It is also quite unfair to villify the unions representing the 20,000 or more people working in Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

Yes, it is inevitable that MAS requires restructuring ….. structural and financial …… as it is close to the precipice where falling over would mean a journey downwards of ‘no return’!

However, one can really empathise with the ‘feelings’ of the people who have worked and sacrificed so much for the airline since its split back in the 1960s with Singapore under MSA i.e. Malaysia Singapore Airlines.

Why should MAS employees feel aggrieved?

Well, to start with, there is this person, Tajuddin Ramli who was given control of MAS ……. apparently to make it more profitable by ‘instilling professionalism’ into MAS.

Instead, and ably assisted by the likes of Lim Kheng Yew and Malik, the outcome was totally the opposite …… in the most negative of sense!

And did they pay for it?

No ……. instead the government bought back the MAS stake from Tajuddin Ramli at the same price that he bought it for ……. although the market price was way below it!

And when all the damage had already been done …….. you will recall the resulting suit brought by Danaharta (and others) against Tajuddin Ramli …… and quite rightly receiving judgement recently to recover close to RM589 million from him.

However, lo and behold, the government decided to ‘settle the matter out of court’ with Tajuddin …… details of which have not been revealed.

And after the Tajuddin era, we had another set of management put in place ….. that is, after having implemented the WOW scheme (or was it WAU?) …… the brain-child of those thinkers at BINA FIKIR ……. whereby the ownership of and borrowings for MAS’ planes were taken over by the government and MAS, the company, only having to operate the airline!

And even then, MAS could not make money ……. as the alleged plundering continued e.g. the lucrative catering business was outsourced to an individual who was related to a past Prime Minister …… you know, that kind of nonsense.

Now with all (these nonsense) that had taken place, can you understand why MAS employees become livid when they are told of the need to undertake a cost cutting exercise (read: lay-offs) in order ‘to save MAS’?

They are screaming blue murder …….. “you politicians screw up a company in which  we have been earning a decent living so that we can put food on the table for our family  …… and now this UMNO led government has the audacity to even think about taking away our rice bowl (or periuk nasi in Malay)”.

Blue Murder, it sure is!!

I wouldn’t want to vote in such a government at the next General Elections!


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