QUIT blaming COVID-19 for Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s (MAB) failures as the latter has been in the red for years now.
Speaking to FocusM, National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) said sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd and MAB should be transparent about their failures to the public.
“Don’t just go back to your asset stripping exercise to cover your losses. Own up and tell the truth (to the public),” said its president Ismail Nasaruddin.
Yesterday, Bernama reported that the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) had offered an early retirement scheme for employees, while negotiations were ongoing with creditors and lessors over MAB’s restructuring plans.
The MAG Early Retirement Application form which was sighted by Bernama is aimed at employees across the board, including its subsidiaries MAB, MASwings, MAB Kargo, AeroDarat Services, Firefly, Hijrah Biru, and the MAB Academy.
The exercise is targeted at Malaysia-based employees aged 45 and above who have served the company continuously for a minimum of 10 years, including years of service in the Malaysia Airlines group.
Ismail said thus far, his union had yet to receive details on the proposed retirement scheme and were waiting to see if the government would decide to restructure MAB or close its operations.
MAB currently has a workforce of 13,000.
He added his team had sent a letter to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urging the latter to have an eye-to-eye meeting with Nufam first before making any decision.
“Of course, not everyone will be happy if MAB gets closed down,” he noted.
People’s jobs at stake
Training his guns on MAB management, Ismail claimed the former was just using COVID-19 as an excuse to cover up for its failures to revive the national carrier’s fortunes.
“MAB has not been doing well for years. My team has brought this matter up with the management numerous times but no one was willing to listen.
“And now, they are just using the pandemic as a scapegoat to cover up for their weaknesses. If they shutdown MAB, it will only showcase their weaknesses,” he remarked.
On the early retirement scheme, Ismail opined the government should look into removing those in the top management who are prone to holding multiple positions in the organisation.
“People must understand that this is more than just closing down a business. It also involves people’s jobs. Where are they to go when the job market is already so bad?
“And those people who they want to let go – the engineers, pilots and cabin crew – are the ones who have kept the airline going despite all the constraints,” he pointed out. – Oct 23, 2020