Govt will not interfere with MAS

Govt will not interfere with MAS

TOKYO - The Government will not interfere in any decision taken by the new Malaysia Airlines administration to turn the airline around.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said any decision made by MAS in matters such as downsizing and routes rationalisation was strictly a business and commercial decision.

"I will be meeting with the new MAS administration from time to time. They have reported their plans to the ministry.

"We will give them the co-operation and support," he said after a bilateral meeting with his counterpart Akihiro Ohta here yesterday.

Liow was commenting on The Star report that MAS, one of the country's biggest government-linked companies, would terminate its entire workforce to start afresh as a smaller airline with a regional focus.

The termination is to ease the migration of the existing operations of MAS into a new company, MAS Bhd.

MAS Bhd will begin operations on Sept 1 and a big chunk of the existing employees will be offered jobs at new terms and conditions.

Liow said many of the details had to be decided at the Khazanah board level.

"It's a business decision, a business transformation. It's not a policy matter," he said, adding that the new MAS administration only needed the ministry's support in the changing of its name as well as the change in its transport licence.

Asked if the new MAS administration had informed the staff union of the job cuts, Liow said he was sure that the two parties would have discussed the matter.

"As far as I am concerned, I was only informed that the termination would involve 6,000 people," he said, adding that the MAS administration would leave it to the affected staff if they wanted retraining.

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