Khazanah MD says 'too early to tell' if MAS revamp will be successful

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KUALA LUMPUR (Apr 23): Malaysian state-owned investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said it was still "too early to tell" if loss-making Malaysian Airline System (MAS) would be successfully turned around under its restructuring.

Khazanah had privatised and delisted MAS in December 2014 to restructure the airline within five years. MAS' revamp follows two aviation mishaps involving the airline last year.

These mishaps had resulted in MAS posting a net loss of RM1.33 billion in the nine months ended September 30, 2014 from a net loss of RM830.25 milllion a year earlier.

Today, Azman said: "I think it is too early to tell. It is a five-year plan with 20 quarters (to go)."

Azman, who was speaking at the Invest Malaysia 2015 event here today, stressed that Khazanah had promised to make quarterly announcements on the progress of the restructuring, which included reducing the airline's workforce.

The planned employment termination have faced opposition from trade unions.

Last month, six trade unions have urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to intervene in and halt the employment termination of 6,000 workers in MAS.

International Transport Federation Malaysia (ITF) council secretary-general Tan Sri Zainal Rampak, who spoke on behalf of the trade unions, said the 6,000  MAS employees, whose employment would soon be terminated under MAS' restructuring, should not be victimised in the current situation.