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What justification can the CEO of MAS have when the national carrier suffers an excruciating first quarter loss of RM280 million? To blame the loss on high fuel costs is at best a feeble excuse as other airlines have merely suffered a dip in profits.

SIA (Singapore Airlines) merely posted a 7.9 percent decline in profit for the first quarter while Cathay Pacific Airways reported a drop in profit of 5.7 percent for the first six months of this year.

What is even more glaring is the performance of budget airline AirAsia Bhd which is one fifth the size of MAS but is slated to post a quarterly net profit of RM30 million.

When I perused the resume of the outgoing MAS managing director, I was shocked to discover that he is an anthropology graduate of UM. Now what business has an anthropology graduate managing a multi-billion ringgit enterprise company like MAS?

It doesn't matter if he was exposed for some time to the aircraft industry. The bottom line is that he is just not qualified academically for such a post. Next we learn that the frontrunner to be the next MAS CEO is a young Cambridge graduate who is the present chief executive of MAS' parent company, Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd.

I am impressed with his academic qualifications but what experience has a young man of 34 have in running a huge company like MAS? Frankly, those people entrusted with appointing suitable people to manage the national carrier have failed miserably.

Time and time again their decisions have not been based on pure ability and qualification but more on political connection and cronyism. This practice is prevalent in all government-linked companies and as a result, most of them have underperformed and consequently, suffered unprecedented losses.

Its time those who are entrusted with the responsibility of appointing personnel in government -linked companies be held accountable for their selections. They should not be allowed to squander taxpayer's money by making appointments that suit their own preferences at the expense of these companies.