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Dr M: Gov't has received four proposals to revive MAS

Faisal Asyraf
Published:  |  Modified:

Putrajaya is mulling letting a local company revive Malaysia Airlines Bhd, as many have failed to make the national carrier profitable in the past.

According to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the government is currently scrutinising four proposals to either acquire or manage MAS.

"We have to study (these proposals) very carefully, as we have changed (the management) many times, but to no avail.

"So we (will) pass to somebody who has the experience," he told reporters at Marriott Putrajaya today, after officiating the 2019 Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Conference, which was also attended by Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran.

Mahathir was responding to a question on his meeting with former AirAsia Group Bhd chairperson Pahamin A Rajab last week.

Pahamin, who submitted his own revival plan on July 3, is speculated to be among the candidates to steer the airlines back to profitability.

Though the four proposals comprised mostly local companies, Mahathir appeared doubtful when asked about their capabilities.

"Well, they think they are capable. We have appointed so many in the past, but they were unable (to bring MAS back to its glory).

"Many people use low-cost carriers, so it's not easy. They (MAB) have to compete with low-cost carriers," he said.

Mahathir's media and communications adviser A Kadir Jasin said recently that low-cost airline AirAsia Group Bhd has the capability to rescue MAS.

Kadir pointed to Kazanah Nasional Bhd's four failed turnaround initiatives since 2001, which had cost the government some RM25 billion.

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