Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MAS needs to be rescued ... from Khazanah

BUJAI is not always right but he asks the right question in his latest posting: Why do we need 12 months to decide if MAS needs government help or not? 
We all know that everybody needs a little help from the government (unless you are YTL, of course) and the national airline can do with that government help, perhaps more than any other GLCs. 
But more than funding, what Malaysia Airlines needs is to do what it needs to, including carrying out painful cost-cutting measures, to stay alive.  
As I see it, the carrier's current predicament dated back to when consultants were brought into the picture by one Nor Mohamed Yakcob to clean up the "mess" after the regional currency crisis. Over the years, these consultants did everything, including selling the office tower in KL and later ownership to Tony Fernandes, to try and make things work at MAS. Today, these consultants head Khazanah Nasional, who is the largest shareholder of MAS.  
I would like to suggest that Bujai tells his kakis in the government that they will be most helpful if they can help liberalise the national airline from Khazanah (or Khazanah from the airline, if you're inclined that way). Let AJ & Co do what needs to be done to run MAS profitably without compromising its obligations as a national carrier.  
And bring in as Malaysia Airilnes Advisor Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad*, who was part of the team that took MAS to great heights during the years before the consultants came in.  
* Bashir ended his tenure as MAHB chief on 6 June after 11 years. Badlisham Ghazali, a former computer & IT salesman, has been sent in (by Khazanah) to be the new MD to the dismay of many who were hoping to see a homegrown replacement. Badlisham, an ITM grad (and I say it with great pride), reports for duty on 23 June. 
Read also: GLCs now on stronger footing 


  1. Mustapha Ong8:33 am

    Should the government spend another few billion ringgit to bail out MAS? My question is "why has Khazanah taken so long to cone out with a statement"? We have yet to hear the comments and clarifications from the a Minister concerned.

  2. Anonymous9:24 am

    khazanah has an evil hidden plan to eventually sell mas to air asia. The same consultant penyamun is running the show!

  3. Anonymous9:30 am

    Nampaknya Rocky pun dah anti dengan geng consultant ni. Steady yob..

  4. Anonymous9:32 am

    Well, from what I've read, it was claimed in the cyberspace that the KLIA/ERL express operated by YTL servicing KLIA is enjoying RM5 for every airport tax paid by flight passengers, regardless of whether they use the train service or not. Nobody has confirm/deny that claim so far. However, if that is true, maybe RM5 from the airport tax can also be given to MAS? I mean, if a globally innovative corporation like YTL which benefited from 85% of businesses abroad can be given such lucrative arrangement because they don't want to kow tow to the PM, why can't government-owned airlines like MAS which also has to serve rural routes, not accorded the same innovative arrangement? MAS has to kow tow to so many people ranging from unjustified ticket upgrades, unpaid excess baggage charges, in-flight meals contract etc. Just give la, maybe for two decades just like YTL's IPPs 'pay or take'. Can?


  5. Anonymous11:39 am

    Talking about cost-cutting, here's what my two pilot friends from different airlines shared with me:

    MAS - pilot gets shuttle pick-up to the airport for early morning flights; if flight covers multiple domestic sectors in a day and terminates at an airport not in KLIA, cabin crew gets to stay at a 3-Star hotel at least.

    Air Asia - pilot drives self to work and pay for parking at staff price; flight sectors must terminate at home airport ie KLIA2, no such thing as sleeping overnight at another destination (except Air Asia X, hence it's separation from Air Asia)

    You do the math who's bleeding money & who's not.

    1. Anonymous11:42 pm

      Bodoh, yg mas overnite tu macam flight airasiax la stupid.......

  6. Anonymous12:44 pm

    All are bullshit. Spend billion than back to square one. Najib khzanah have been bullshiting us for many years. Is Najib braze enough to kick out Khazanah Boss and revamp GLS's or kick himself out. Sorry for the rudeness.

  7. damansaraman1:44 pm

    Assalammualaikum bro

    Pendapat peribadi saya, MAS perlu DIJUAL kepada individu yang berminat untuk meneruskan perkhidmatannya

    TETAPI DENGAN SYARAT syarikat penerbangan itu mestilah terlebih dahulu DIBEBASKAN dari segala kontrak yang mengikatnya.

    Terpulanglah kepada pengurusan baru syarikat itu nanti samada ingin menyambung atau menilai semula kontrak-kontrak tersebut

    SATU LAGI kerajaan perlu memberi peluang untuk syarikat itu MEMILIH SEMULA LALUAN yang ingin mereka buat.

    SEBAGAI BALASAN pemilik baru tersebut mestilah mengekalkan semua pekerja yang masih berkhidmat kecuali PEGAWAI ATASAN yang tidak diperlukan

    Saya yakin walaupun mempunyai warga kerja yang besar inshaAllah MAS sebenarnya mampu berdaya saing

    Pemilik baru juga TIDAK DIBENARKAN untuk meminta atau mendapat apa jua bantuan dana dari kerajaan.

    Paling menarik jika MAS dipecahkan kepada dua perkhidmatan iaitu Perkhidmatan Domestik & Serantau Tambang Murah (malah mungkin boleh mengekalkan perkhidmatan penuh pada harga yang amat kompetitif), serta Perkhidmatan Premium Antarabangsa

    Sejujurnya masalah sebenar MAS bukanlah pada operasi serta kakitangannya.

    MASALAH SEBENAR MAS adalah Kerajaan melalui Khazanah Nasional serta beberapa Pemimpin Kerajaan

    Idea menjual aset dan perniagaan sokongan MAS adalah idea paling bodoh saya pernah dengar. SEBODOH idea menjual MAS CATERING yang kemudiannya mengikat MAS dengan kontrak selama berpuluh tahun.

    Buang semua elemen ini, dan inshaAllah MAS akan Terbang Megah semula

  8. Mustapha Ong1:55 pm

    Our friend and airline mongul have been talking so much and has been a lively controversial figure in commenting on the airline business. Maybe, Tony should be appointed as a Senator and then take over as the new Transport Minister. I believe Tony will be an ideal Transport Minister with his vast corporate experiences as well as to correct the imbalance that exits between MAS and AirAsia. Tony should also take over SPAD and introduce better ideas for safer travelling a for our road users and commuters, including the immediate revival of the AES. Tony will will kill many birds with one stone! Compared to most other Ministers, Tony has the real brain with his international corporate experience and exposure! Don't be bias and hope PM will consider this proposal seriously, in order to redeem the image, integrity and efficiency in the transport ministry!

  9. MAS kena bangkit sendiri. Gaji MD berpuluh / ratus ribu. Ada konsultan. Ada pakar Ketua-Ketua Jabatan dengan pakej gaji lumayan.

    Semua terpilih, travel fare free - gratis kata indon. Takkan buat kerja CIPUT je ? Mana yang tak 'perform' bungkus dengan kain putih. Mengabihkan bogeh yo... kemudian pula tidak percayakan peniaga-peniaga / kontraktor Melayu. Mereka lebih percaya kepada ' highly exclusive private suite - talking about billions and trillions '

    Untuk renungan : Jika kita memberi kebaikan kepada satu orang, Tuhan akan balas dengan sepuluh kebaikan yang kita tidak perasan nikmat nya.

  10. Anonymous2:18 pm

    Closed that dammed MAS and start anew....dont they ever know the word "malu"...The trouble is that MAS personals thinks the government owe them a living...

  11. Medini Insider2:23 pm

    Azman Mokhtar himself was the problem when he and his Binafikir boys came up with MAS Asset Unbundling proposal many years ago. Now that he is the Khazanah CEO, the problem in MAS still persist. And he still has the cheek to say that he and his boys will come up with some proposals to address MAS problems over the next few months.

    If the suggestion is asset stripping, clipping the power of the labour union or sell off the company to Tony Fernandes, my Indonesian maid can also do that minus the salary that you are earning.

    Azman Mokhtar, go bugger off lah. You are the sole problem to MAS. Stay away and get lost.

  12. Anonymous3:03 pm

    Depa ni nak manage airliner pun tak tau.. MAS is government own entity. It duly enjoys assistance and protection from the government like it should. So you don't have to worry too much. It won't go kaput anytime soon.
    Let's break it all down. You have the planes, you have the airports, and you have the routes; lucrative or otherwise. Huge revenue could come from any of these three. Sit down and discuss..

  13. neddy seagoon3:49 pm

    Bujai doesn't want to comment on MAS versus SIA. Of course, he wouldn't, seeing as how that would open up a whole new can of worms.

    Surely Bujai must be aware of the fact that MAS and SIA shared a common parentage back in the day.

    I refer to MSA (Malaysia-Singapore Airlines) which was forced to break up in the aftermath of Singapore's separation from Malaysia.

    Fast forward to now, and the positions of the two airlines could be viewed as a referendum of sorts on the airlines' management and the role of their respective controlling shareholders (Khazanah and Temasek).

    SIA is encountering headwinds in the form of strong competition from LCCs and the premium-service Gulf carriers (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways).

    Yet SIA has never asked Temasek or the Singapore government for bailouts. Not ever in it's history.

    It hasn't asked for protection against competition either.

    Whereas in MAS, the unions are asking for protection, for government bailouts, for protection against staff cuts and job redundancies, all because MAS is the poster shibboleth for some sort of "national agenda".

    How lame an excuse is that.

    The contemptible thing is that there are some quarters in the social media who believe that MAS has an absolute right to protection, and that competition from other Malaysian-owned airlines is verboten.

    I would urge these people to take a hard look at the state of play in the global aviation industry, instead of mouthing off with half-assed comments.

  14. Hasn't the government done enough, to date, to help MAS both with manpower and of far more than 26 millions ? If that is not help, what is ? How much more are the people of Malaysia are expected to come to the rescue of MAS ? How come in the same country Air Asia is able to operate an airlines profitably ?
    Time to operate any set up in Malaysia with profit in mind especially when MAS has been given so much time to make a profit or at the least to break even. Stop offering clutches when national companies like MAS or proton are in financial troubles. Enough is enough !

  15. Anonymous4:57 pm

    I would like to recommend Azman Mokhtar to be the new CEO of MAS for two reasons (1) he help brings the current problem to MAS through his BINAFIKIR WAU implementation (2) he has bragged in press conference that Khazanah under his watch has treble the value of their in investment in 10 years - without telling the public that all these are government shares that were acquired from the MOF at seriously under value. This appointment will give him an opportunity to build something for the country. He should walk the talk!

  16. Anonymous10:00 pm

    Bro kasi bersih kazanah dulu, baru yang lain , tapi najib ada telok ke.

  17. Anonymous10:01 am

    Get YTL to do the job of managing MAS. Maybe it will perform the job a million times better than the rest of the other cronies put together.

    Sickening as usual with the f spinning, twisting and farting all the times.

    1. neddy seagoon6:34 pm

      Why YTL?

      Is this your attempt at sarcasm targeted at "crony capitalism" in Malaysia?

      It doesn't take rocket science or highly-paid consultants to fix what ails MAS.

      So I don't know why Khazanah needs another 12 months to come up with a plan to turn MAS around.

      Just get Hassan Marican back, give him a free hand and the political backing, and let him get on with the job.

  18. gordongekko2:38 pm

    I note that Maseu is discreetly silent about why revenue & profits per employee are lower in MAS than in, say, SIA or Cathay Pacific.

    Or why, when other airlines can implement job cuts and stringent cost controls, Maseu is adamant that there should be no redundancies or staff cuts in MAS.

    Maybe Maseu is operating in some alternate universe where there's no competition and where "social agendas" take priority over sound commercial logic and the need to make profits!

  19. Anonymous3:27 pm

    ITM grad? No way can run MAS.
    Lets face it.

  20. A Kelantanistani1:47 am

    Something fishy is happening in MAS which some one has said has been purposely " built to fail" by Khazanah Nasional.

    My comments will center on a few topics:

    Firstly, the top management of the poor national airline company. Air Asia (AA) has TF & KM for years while MAS CEO & other top guns were or are being rotated as if the company is running a musical chair fun fair . TF and KM together have 20 years cumulative experiences running the AA.

    Khazanah (KN) is fond of putting their friends and close buddies in MAS strategic senior positions. Examples include the Tengku fellow and Danny boy. Azman-run KN then brought in the Mat Sallehs at the expense of local talents

    Secondly, the board composition. Anyone there with extensive & and relevant experience in running a premium class airline company? Zilch if I may say so. Any corporate bankers and strategic thinkers? I would vote for a Nay. The Chairman is a quiet and an unimpressive ex-banker. Other board members would include one former investment banker & a wheeler dealer and a sitting MoF representative who may not know why she has been put there in the first place, what more about airline business and industry. The only good man is the distinguished kind-heart captain of the industry, a man of mixed parentage. Others are men of invisible and unknown talents who are on the board to represent some interested party or group.

    Thirdly, the business model. MAS may be in the wrong stream of the premium class airline class. Their competitors are no more of SIA class but that of Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airlines, et al. These Gulf airlines are oil rich state-owned GLCs and majority run by the Mat Sallehs. My impression of these "Gulfers" are that they are run with complete disregard to bottom lines They may have "bottomless lines" as their main KPIs and their performances are more measured on the basis of the number of passengers that each one of them carries including the Haj and Umrah inter liners who prefer visiting Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha after their tough Makkah & Madinah sojourns. So how can MAS compete with these similar class but heavily Gulf Governments’ subsidised airline companies. MAS tried to imitate AA and other budget carriers but the board members and top management have unwittingly brought MAS nearer to eventual financial disaster. High growth of passengers with low revenue yield for the company was and is the result. An uninitiated non-MBA person can even make negative cash flow projections, based on this flawed assumption and the unintelligent strategic move, being implemented and supported by the clueless "cheer leaders" sitting on its board.

    Fourthly, the historical perspective. Disagreeing with other hypothesis, I would say that the nail in the airline coffin was first hammered by Tajuddin Ramli, the helicopter and the Telco companies' owner who "swallowed" the big aircraft national carrier. No business synergy between a Telco and an airline business. But he was allowed to run loose like Attila the Hun. Tajuddin, a Tun D protege, was mainly known as the " asset stripper" guy just like the Jala of this century, "sell, sell & sell" was his battle cry something like what the traders would do on the floors of NY or London or KL Stock Exchanges.

    So the rot starts from there and there was a "continuum" of faulty and damaged products that had been installed without fail by the NMY and Azman-run Khazanah Nasional and unfortunately sanctioned repeatedly by the KL & later the Putrajaya Government since the 90s and also early this 21st century.

    MAS saga is really a heart rending and heart-aching saga of a national airline company that had been purposely "BUILT TO FAIL" by perhaps a group of good intention people but with bad ideas, devoid of common sense strategic thinking abilities.

    A Kelantanistani

  21. Anonymous7:40 am

    it may end up as Mas Asia Airlines

  22. neddy seagoon12:00 pm

    Wasn't the Tajudin Ramli "episode" in MAS also condoned, if not approved, by Tun Dr Mahathir?

    Unless Tun Daim was acting on his own initiative, when T R was brought in to run MAS?

    It's strange how Maseu has "forgotten" about this phase in MAS's history, while concentrating their "fire" on Tony Fernandes and AirAsia. A tad selective in their targets, these Maseu people!

    It may well be that the Gulf carriers (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways) are being run without regard to the bottom line.

    That is a fact of life. Competition. You can't run away from it.

    That hasn't prevented other airlines from stepping up to the plate without resorting to their home governments for bailouts.

  23. Anonymous11:50 pm

    Selamatkam MAS dari khazanah and MAS will fly. Clean up MAS board and replace the chairman with tan sri aziz. Gomen pegang 1 golden share and let MAS new board and mgt free to run the business incl deciding on the catering vendor and airplane leasing. Amok tak perlu sandiwara nak pikir pasal Mas. The answer is cristal clear......ada anak keling tengah tunggu nak beli kut........

  24. Fopping Gubbery10:02 pm

    Anon 11:50 pm

    It's strange you didn't finger Maseu as part of the problems in MAS.


    Do you believe that MAS's productivity, that Maseu is so defensive about, is on par or better than it's competitors?

    And the correct spelling is "crystal", not "cristal".