Full support needed for MAS revival, says Najib

The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said a complete overhaul of Malaysia Airlines was needed for a genuinely strong and sustainable national carrier.

The Prime Minister said the delisting of MAS was the first step to return the airline to profitability, describing the move as "a step, which I wholeheartedly support".

"We believe our national carrier must be renewed. This means wholesale change, to deliver a wholly different outcome. Piecemeal changes will not work.

"The Government and Khazanah are in the final stages of completing a comprehensive and holistic restructuring plan. With due process and following relevant approvals, we expect a detailed plan to be announced before the end of August," he said in a statement yesterday.

Najib said the process of renewal would involve painful steps and sacrifices from all parties and called for all concerned that the process 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," he added.

Najib said MAS was part of Malaysia's history and a symbol of national pride, the country's ambitions and its place in the world.

"It is more than just a company to us. So today, we are making the changes to ensure it is also part of Malaysia's future. 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," he said.

Najib said that like all Malaysians, he was deeply saddened by the losses of MH370 and MH17, adding that seldom before had 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.

"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," he said.

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