ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Government must decide to continue helping MAS or let it 'fly on its own' - PAC
KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 (Bernama) -- The time has come for the government to make a decision on whether to continue helping Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to operate or let the national carrier 'fly on its own'.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said with the emergence of low-cost airlines and Open Sky policy, the National Aviation Policy (NAP), which has been protecting MAS all these years, is seen as irrelevant.
"I had said before, MAS is protected by the National Aviation Policy, that's why the government is able to channel funds to the company as it abides with the government policy.
"But now with the open sky policy and low-cost airlines, the government's policy (National Aviation Policy) is not longer suitable...MAS's future depends on that government policy," he told reporters after chairing the PAC meeting in Parliament here today.
He was asked to comment on the plan by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, as announced by its managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar today, to come out with recommendations to revive MAS within a year.
Khazanah Nasional is the government's strategic investment fund and the biggest shareholder in MAS.
Nur Jazlan said from PAC's point of view, he opined that it was not necessary for the government to continue spending the rakyat's money to revive MAS without getting positive and permanent returns.
"Now, how many years have we supported MAS...Although MAS is a listed company (on Bursa Malaysia) and does not use government funds, but the main investor is Khazanah, and Khazanah is funded by the government," he said.
Nevertheless, Nur Jazlan who is Member of Parliament for Pulai hoped the plan or restructuring to be recommended by Khazanah Nasional this time would succeed in finding a positive solution and revive MAS.
In the middle of last month, MAS announced a net loss of RM443 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, up from a loss of RM279 million in the same period last year. (BERNAMA)
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