#MAS: Days of Future Past


The fate of approximate 20,000 MAS staff was made known already. What made viral mostly are those who will go in different direction and new life adventure.

For some, it is another bullet for mudslinging. Some make it sounded worse that what it may be. Some taking it as opportunity to do other things.

My view on this matter:

  1. I want to know the causes MAS to be in such state that leads to the path that Khazanah and MAS have to take. No, not as to find fault, but not for the newly co set up in place of MAS repeating the same mistake;
  2. One of the arguments for MAS to be in such state points to Tajuddin Ramli. As much as it was said Tajuddin Ramli was doing “national service”, it was also said that there were millions of reserves before. Two different matters here – national service vs how the reserves were spent. What happened and what we can learn from there?
  3. Operational vs Management, what happened? MAS are known for world class cabin crew and hospitality. So, what went wrong? Will the new company being suck into this issue once again?
  4. How much Union has caused MAS? Some union can be stubborn, some can be protective, some can be rationale, some can be utterly ridiculous. Based on my reading in the news, if not mistaken, on the verge of MAS would be ceasing operations, in my view, the union was trying to do stupid things.

From these 4 short points, there are things to learn about MAS, and what not to be repeated so that the new company will not go to the same path as before.

If you are reading Malaysian Insider’s piece, these are the parts to be considered more:

  • It had bled RM256 million in the fiscal year ending 1998 and by the fiscal year ending 2000, it bled a further RM255.7 million after tax losses.
  • Back in the government’s hands, MAS reported a loss of RM 1.3 billion in 2005, prompting another turnaround plan that saw them appoint current Performance and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) chief Datuk Seri Idris Jala (pic) as its CEO.
  • In 2007, they recorded a profit of RM852 million, the highest in MAS history, and followed up with RM522 million profit in 2009, just before Idris took over as Pemandu CEO under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration
  • Two years after Idris left his post, MAS suffered one of the most historic losses in aviation industry, a staggering RM2.5 billion in 2011. They made a profit of RM430 million the following year, but lost RM1.16 billion in 2013.

It is not the other parts is not important, but in my view, it is just adding spice to the story line.

To me, 2 key areas, in which I believe and hope the new company should look into seriously.. and for others also to learn. They are:

  1. Management – what is your direction and decision? Being national carrier maybe an advantage, but also can be a reason to be over confident and over look things which can cause the future of “new” MAS sharing similar fate as before;
  2. Union – Yes, you are there as a protection for the staff, but similar to certain level, some are just self serving to own ego. Work well with the management as do remember, if the company shuts down, you also be out from job too.

To those being absorbed and offered in newly set up “MAS”, congratulations.

To those who will embark in new journey, thank you for your service rendered to MAS’ customers, and made us proud before. I believe, with your quality, there will be good things to you too.

Last but not least, if Air Asia can be worth a good case study for its success, MAS also can be a good lesson learn, so that the other GLCs not sharing the same fate as MAS.

And no, please do not drag the two incidents and connect it to closing down of MAS. It was just unfortunate event that can happen to any flight.

Wishes on the street: Thank you “old” MAS. May the “new” MAS fly and soar higher than before.

You are part of people on the street. My opinion might not as good as yours. Come, please share your thoughts with us!!!

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