Today, the Government of Malaysia, through its strategic investment fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah), announced a formal process to take full ownership and de-list Malaysian Airline System Berhad (MAS). This is the first step needed to return our national carrier to profitability. It is a step I wholeheartedly support.
MAS is part of Malaysia’s history. It is a symbol of national pride, of our ambitions and our place in the world. It is more than just a company to us. So today we are making changes to ensure it is also part of Malaysia’s future story.
Like all Malaysians, I am deeply saddened by the losses of MH370 and MH17. Seldom before has a company been subjected to two profound and extraordinary tragedies in such a short space of time. We pay tribute to the victims; we pray for their families; and we thank all those around the world for their support and their prayers in these difficult times.
We hope these twin tragedies will change the way the aviation industry operates, making global travel safer for all. But we must also acknowledge that they will change the way MAS operates, too.
We believe our national carrier must be renewed. This means wholesale change, to deliver a wholly different outcome. Only through a complete overhaul of the company can we deliver a genuinely strong and sustainable national carrier. Piecemeal changes will not work.
This process of renewal will involve painful steps and sacrifices from all parties. My instruction and my commitment to all concerned is that the process will be carried out professionally, with proper principles of fairness, transparency and compassion.
It is therefore critical that all parties close ranks and work closely together. Without the full support of all parties – management, employees, unions, creditors and vendors – as well as loyal passengers and the Malaysian people – this restructuring will not succeed.
The Government and Khazanah are in the final stages of completing a comprehensive and holistic restructuring plan. With due process and following the relevant approvals, we expect that a detailed plan will be announced before the end of August.
MAS is our national carrier, and our national pride. The changes that start today will lay the foundations for its future success. I ask that all Malaysians continue to support Malaysia Airlines, as we build a stronger and more sustainable national carrier.