But who would even buy MAS now?

YOURSAY ‘Nobody will buy a loss-making airline for more than what it's worth. Its routes are no longer an asset and neither are its aircraft.'

Gov't should sell MAS, says minister

your sayHang Babeuf: In other words, the government should sell Malaysia Airlines (MAS), but only when a good time to do so comes along. But a good time to sell, the right time, will never come.

So, what is the man's (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Idris Jala) advice? His real advice? What, when the posturing is over, does he recommend?

And to whom will he and his masters sell it - to that former MAS chairperson Tajudin Ramli again, perhaps?

Fair Play: Who, in his right mind, would throw away good money after bad? It is not the buyer's concern whether public money is involved. A loss-making company is a loss-making company, period.

The only interest to a potential buyer is whether it can be salvaged. Why not get AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes to perform national service and sell to him at a profit to recoup public money? I'd like to know what sort of answer he would give.

Cantabrigian: National pride comes with a big price tag. Malaysian taxpayers will have to depart from their hard-earned money even more to keep this five-star airline afloat and feel great about its glory and grandeur.

It's so sad to see such a good business is making millions in losses because everything in the Malaysian aviation industry have been politicised - from the nasi lemak to the control tower system.

Kookie: MAS was doomed to fail when the government put its "dirty" fingers into it and allowed former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's alleged cronies to manipulate the airline to their benefit.

Nobody will buy a loss-making airline for more than what it's worth. Its routes are no longer an asset and neither are its aircraft.

EvenSteven: Such words of wisdom emanating from his mouth. He does not explain how MAS can be sold at a profit when market forces have reduced its value to 30 sen a share.

It's a money pit, people, and you have the government to thank for this. Not another Petronas bailout, please.

Onyourtoes: Why was there no such a suggestion when you were running it, Idris? That stupid airline should have been sold or merged with Singapore Airlines (SIA) a long time ago. At least today the public would have enjoyed lower fares, better services and taxpayers would not have lost so much money through endless bailouts.

In fact, if merged with SIA, I think the Malaysian government would have secured one additional source of income instead of one bottomless expenditure pit.

What about national carmaker Proton? The government should sell it also, Idris? What about Plus Expressway Bhd? What about independent power producer (IPPs)?

Why is the government buying all the ‘about to expire' IPPs? You are the chief ‘efficiency' advisor to the government, surely you know better.

Stop Lynas!: It will be a much, much bigger loss if they don't sell it, as that is public's money too.

Louis Loss: Selling MAS for a profit? Must be very ambitious. It would consider itself lucky if it can find a buyer even if there is no profit. Most probably, it has to be lelong (auctioned) at the pasar malam (night market).

Cascara: Yes, sell it now to some crony so that the government can buy it back at a higher price.

Sunflower11: What rubbish is this? Idris should have sold it during his helm when share price was RM6 but not at 30 sen now. Why didn't he say so then?

YouAreNotAlone: The government had drained all useful resources from MAS and now is wanting to sell its debt to others and the selling price must make a profit, instead of loss. How thoughtful our Malaysian government is.

CiViC: No worries, standard operating procedures (SOP) applies - first, the government bails out the company and settle all debts, second, the company is sold below market price to a number of cronies' companies and its subsidiaries, and then miraculously all of sudden MAS starts making money, and lastly the shares jump and cronies makes a fortune out of it.

Anonymous_4031: Performance and Delivery Management Unit (Pemandu) CEO Idris has brains. Yes, MAS must go, national pride aside.

It was about RM4 at one time donkey years ago when AirAsia was about RM1. Now, MAS is hanging around RM0.30 after rights issue; while AirAsia is more than RM3.

Yes, when Idris took over MAS, he turned it around within two years. That shows his pragmatic approach to business.

I recall him deciding to sell off MAS headquarters and move its headquarters to Subang Airport. That showed his humility; he did not care for national pride when he saw MAS was bleeding financially.

Then he off-loaded staff strength, thereby trimming the overheads. That again showed his pragmatic approach to high overheads. After he left, MAS is down to RM0.30 a share.

Why? The shareholders should ask the CEO.

Sali Tambap: How deep MAS has fallen. At one time, it used to be RM10 per share and one of the most stable blue chip companies. Now it has plummeted to merely 30 sen. Before long it will become nothing but only good for scrap metal.

An inefficient government cannot run big corporations where ministers and cronies are only interested in personal gain. Leave business to the professionals and real business people.


The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now