PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s National Union of Flight Attendants (Nufam) has urged the government to examine the management status of Malaysia Airlines before pouring more cash into the ailing national carrier.
Yesterday, Nikkei Asia quoted Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz as saying that the sole shareholder of the airline, Khazanah Nasional, had been charged, ensuring that it “continues to be in a position of strength to support the economy when it recovers.”
Last week The Edge Weekly announced that MAS may pursue as much as RM2.1 billion as Khazanah’s financial aid after announcing an urgent debt restructuring of RM16 billion in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While Nufam applauded the decision of the government to assist the airline, it said it did not want MAS to “abuse the money of taxpayers”. Because it had already lost billions before the outbreak of Covid-19.
We are thankful to the government for its help in reviving the airline industry and for providing assistance to the workers in the sector affected. However, we want it to take a closer look at the problems of enormous losses.
Issues Of Accountability
“There are issues of accountability here. Therefore we are raising the red flag now as a union,” it said in a statement today.
The union said it was “unfair” for the government to continue pouring more money into MAS. It is only for the airline to continue to keep the same individuals responsible over the years for the losses.”
Claiming that since MAS was restructured in 2015, “constant work environment disharmony” had occurred. It added that top-level management misuse of power against low-ranking employees who were retrenched or asked to leave during the pandemic had occurred.
Nufam also alleged that the airline had “unnecessarily spent millions of ringgit in taxpayers’ money in unnecessary legal disputes with the union”.
It took the government to task for “ignoring these huge losses”. Also, it continuing to pay “top salaries to the same team of people to manage the national asset and workers’ welfare”.