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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     14-15 November  2011

New life for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) by AirAsia

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 -- The government reiterated its stand that the Comprehensive Collaboration Framework signed between Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia which brought about the exchange of shares between the two, was part of the plan to recover MAS.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said the move has given a new lease of life to MAS to carry on with its operations after having suffered major losses.

MAS recorded a loss of RM769 million for the first half of this year; RM242 million for the first quarter and RM527 million in the second quarter of 2011, brought on by the rising price of fuel globally.

"MAS is a national treasure and its impact on the country's economy will be significant. Whatever the action taken, the government's intention is to enable MAS to continue to operate and prevent a bankruptcy," he said when wrapping up a debate at the Dewan Rakyat.

The government could take an easier way of injecting more funds to help MAS but that would not be a good commercial decision, Abdul Rahim said.

"We hope the CCF, although not a popular move, would be able to give new life to MAS and prevent it from falling," he said.

Earlier during the debate, several BN and Opposition parliament members hurled criticisms at the upper management of AirAsia, alleging the low cost airline of having taken advantage of the government and the people.

They also claimed that the government and MAS were forced to give in to the demands of the airline.

Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) also suggested that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission be called in to investigate those involved in the decision to undertake the shares exchange including Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.

He also wanted the government to provide the guarantee that the deal would not fall into the hands of foreign parties in the future.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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