Sunday, July 15, 2007

MAS Flight Delays: Idris Jala Lied!


The recent Special ESOS that instantly enriched few novice and non airline-experianced management, at the expense of hardworking and diligent MAS staff, has taken its toll. The workforce obviously demotivated by the biased share allocation has reluct from the companies taglined “beyond expectation” service and a spate of flight delays are happening daily.

In the Sunday Times today, Datuk Idris Jala denied it is due to demotivated staff and attempt to attribute the delays to technical reasons. Yet, the bulk of the statement is addressing problems arising from the controversial Special ESOS.

Who is he kidding? Is Idris Jala lying through his teeth?

Idris attribute the delays to 3 factors; namely technical problems, bad weather, and introduction of new check-in system. The most accessed story on NST Online on Sunday today entitled “Statement by Datuk Idris Jala with regards to article on MAS employees crying foul over ESOS distribution” is reproduced below:


WE are aware that there are employee concerns over the Performance Management System (PMS).

"We are taking immediate steps to address the concerns. Yesterday, Friday, 13 July, we met with the senior members from all Unions and Associations, and will immediately set up a Special Task Force on Performance Management, led by executive director and chief financial officer, Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin.

All the Unions and Associations, and management will be represented in this Special Task Force.

The task force will meet next Tuesday and its first and immediate task will be to arrive at a workable solution to address the current concerns around the Employee Share Option Scheme (ESOS) and PMS that have been voiced by employees.

The members of the task force will be tasked to provide their recommendations on immediate actions to be taken at the very latest by Friday, July 20.

At the same time, we are experiencing several flight disruptions due to a combination of factors including technical issues, bad weather and the introduction of the passenger services system.

In terms of technical issues, there were two significant engineering related instances this week.

One involved a Boeing B777 grounded in Frankfurt on July 9 due to an engine damaged by an apron baggage loader.

The engine was subsequently rectified and the aircraft is now back in operation.

Another was an Airbus A330-300 now grounded indefinitely in KL International Airport (KLIA) since Thursday, July 12, after one of its cabin doors was structurally damaged when an airport aerobridge fell to the ground.

In addition, a Boeing B737-400 was grounded in Kota Kinabalu airport on July 12 awaiting special parts for its cockpit window while another Boeing B737-400 is currently undergoing a comprehensive rectification of its flight control system in KLIA.

Bad weather also caused several flight disruptions where among the notable ones were the Kuala Lumpur-Melbourne flight on July 10 that was diverted to Adelaide and a Kuala Lumpur-Penang flight of the same day diverted to Langkawi.

Every one of these situations invariably caused a shortage of operational aircraft, which necessitated the reshuffling and re-timing of some of our normal schedules.

In some instances, one or two `high frequency' flights were cancelled but we compensated by deploying a larger aircraft that could accommodate the combined passenger load.

Apart from our services to some domestic stations, our flights between KLIA and stations such as Penang, Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore were impacted by such ad-hoc re-timings.

Where possible, we notified passengers in advance of these re-timings and flight rescheduling, whilst we also worked with the airport operators for such updates to be featured in the flight arrival and departure information display boards.

These were complemented by appropriate service recovery measures at the various airports to minimize passenger inconvenience.

The technical issues and bad weather were compounded by the introduction of a new passenger services system in line with the mandatory IATA (International Air Transport Association) requirement for e-ticketing.

Like any other new system, we are going through some teething issues as not all our employees are familiar with the new check-in system.

In some cases, this may result in passengers being checked in slower than usual.

We apologise to our customers for the discomfort they experienced arising from these situations.

We are aware that there are speculations that the delays are partly due to dissatisfaction over the newly introduced PMS, ESOS and bonus payment.

We have investigated every incident. At this stage, there is no clear evidence of this and we are continuing to monitor closely every delay and the causes.

As mentioned earlier, we are working closely with the Unions and Associations to address the employees' concerns through the Special Task Force.
Idris Jala lied in this statement!

Insider sources in MAS revealed that the flight delays are not few and normal. In the past two weeks, there has been 30-40 flight delays, or an average of 3-4 flight delays. That is perhaps superb for AirAsia standard of service but not for an Airline with International routes and credible service record like MAS. On a normal day, MAS runs an average 300 flights daily.

Idris Jala's claim to attribute to technical problems and bad weather is fallacious. These are part and parcel of a normal airline operations and should be addressed with ease. The questions that arise are MAS's ability in service recovery and its readiness in preparation and response to such normal happenings in the day-to-day of any typical airline operations (except AirAsia, off course).

To illustrate the point, insider described one such delay was a case of malfunctioning aerobridge or colloquilly described as, “it had fallen off”. Obviously, a standby aerobridge should be readily available or passengers redirected for their boarding with the least time delay.

MAS has a history of sabotage from disgruntled staff. Management have enhanced security and supervision in the engineering work area to ensure no repeated incident of wire cutting as happened many years ago. Perhaps, Idris Jala has considered personally doing late night surprise engine count check.

Dissatisfaction is clearly endemic in the past one month throughout the organisation. MAS Managers and staff has resigned to a work-to-rule unspoken protest. There is wide spread reluctance to undertake any "extra effort" initiatives. Sentiment among staff is "jangan susah-susah, boss baru tak tahu apa saja dapat macam-macam". The corruptible MASEU and MAS union officials does not help their cause either.

The reason to implement the new passenger services system or check-in system, spinned and justified by Idris Jala to meet the IATA requirement, raises more questions.

Is the new system necessary? Insiders within MAS has long complained that the new system, "SITA Check In Sytem" as more inferior to the existing "MAS Komputer" system. To know some story about the system, all one need is to recall back the “flying buffet” chain e-mail that was making its round few years back.

This system was proposed by one Puan Mazida bte Mohd Noor, a subject of that vicious email. She has recently resigned from MAS, but her proposed system is still being pursued by management. Could this be the system that raised in the e-mail suspicion of kickback, excessive salary for an over-rated expatriate, and sordid personal details?

Idris Deceived the Government!

The real reason believed for the rush to implement this system now is speculated as Idris Jala’s desperation to “score points”. Operational people have long highlighted the inadequacy of the new system to retrieve certain critical information. Could this system serves to falsify profit figures for Idris Jala?

As it is, he has successfully deceived the Minister of Finance (MoF) in face-to-face briefing into believing his 6 quarters of continuous profits guaratee. It is too obvious the praise by MoF II as “the best CEO money can buy" a statement typical from an easily deceived Pak Lah.


Pix taken from Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin's blog posting "Idris Jala: CEO that Money can Buy"

Industry circle have long questioned Idris Jala’s turnaround ability. Thus far, all he has done is to retrench experienced staff and management, and is replaced with novice or non airline-experianced, and over-rated Accountants.

Although partly stiffled by the Minister for “Air Asia affair”, Dato Chan Kong Choy and the politically influential AirAsia, Idris is incapable turning around AirAsia operationally. The so-called profit of MAS on those profitable quarters have been merely from asset sales and said to be creatively translated as operational profit.

Within Shell, he is merely known as "specialist" in retrenching exercise and busting unions. Existing and former MAS staff will never forget his press statement, when first joined MAS, to deny laying off of staff but focus on operational turnaround. Just to show that Idris Jala is a compulsive liar.

For more perspective with the happenings in MAS, read back Biggum Dogmannsteinburg's "MAS: Going Beyond Whose Expectations?" and Jeff Ooi's Citicorp: Sell Airasia to Take Profit.

The Human Resource Man Myth

The latest debacle involving the Special ESOS and PMS (widely ridiculed as Pre-Meditated Sacking) illustrates the myth of Idris Jala as a Human Resource man meant for human resource turnaround strategy. MAS is an organisation with one of the biggest workforce in the country and a leading player in the local aerospace industry.

The aerospace industry is one industry that provide a platform to elevates the country's ability in high technological capability. Try fathom the amount of money required to develop this industry? It requires millions or not billion to establish the facilities, and training the highly specialised technical skills. Pak Lah received headline for "Aerospace New Growth Area For M'sia To Exploit" in his November 21, 2006 statement (read from this PM Department link here).

With the appointment of Idris Jala as his "Human Resource Man" at MAS, does Pak Lah realised of the impact to the industry's "Pembangunan Modal Insan", to pun another of his slogan? How is Malaysia to meet his plan to be a global player in the aerospace industry by 2015 with the skilled and experienced aerospace personnel migrating abroad and existing ones disgruntled? How do you develop human resource, when you can't even manage in the first place?

If he care to find out, the majority, if not monopoly, of players and technical people in the Malaysian aerospace industry are Bumiputera. The plan for an aerospace industry has been set long before he learned to pronounced the word "aerospace" correctly as he is still struggling to learn to pronounce "aerospatile". It is not developed after his 2006 press statement.

This is yet another of his lying slogan, "Malay Agenda". His appointed turnaround man for MAS, Idris Jala is a case of "tikus membaiki labu". That seems to be the order of the day for Pak Lah's GLC reform and turnaround, like in Proton.

If Idris Jala is the Project Leader and MAS was the turnaround project for "The Apprentice", I can bet till my last dollar The Donald would utter to him, "You are fired! Now get out!". I would imagine he turn towards the standing Pak Lah standing and say, "You too! Go, you both!"

6 comments:

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

I don't think Idris Jala has ever had such a beating as in this posting. I tend to be sympathetic towards Idris vis-a-vis the government's preferential treatment to Tony Fernandes' Air Asia. But yes, I agree with you that on its own Malaysia Airlines has not done well at all. What has been dubbed a "turnaround" is actually a mere bouncing back by a company after hitting rock-bottom. Remember, MAS was not too long ago a darling for Malaysia and the industry. Its decline happened during the TR era (where is he now?) but the real blow came when a couple of young boys (one of them heads Khazanah now) came up with some dazzling paper-shuffling solutions that got Nor Mohd Yaakob (the 2nd Finance Minister now) gaping in awe (but was it his proposal and it got the boys gaping in awe? -- I've always wondered). From then on, it's been nose-diving. Malaysia Airlines as we knew it "crashed" under Idris Jala and Pak Lah. It is now rising from the debris of that "crash". (Watch Proton better MAS in this). Turnaround? What turnaround?

artchan said...

good...finally the chickens come home to roost. The VsS scheme was never well received..only those well connected were allowed VSS..and the Performance Management System was a joke....resulting in no increments , no bonus..etc

good luck to Idris...let't see how well he can spin

Anonymous said...

Yes, Idris lied....

Let's pray that Idris Jala die!!! Die!!!!!

And so with MAS!!! Let both of them die!!!!

I fully support "Another Brick in the Wall", Ahirudin and Artchan!!! Go to hell, Idris Jala!!!

DIE!!!!! And rise with Air Asia!!! The Indian is here to save Malaysia!!! HAhahahahahah....

Who needs a Kelabit when we have an Indian who can run the airline better!!!

Anonymous said...

Hope that MAS will not be another Transmile???? CEO does funny things just to look good.

Flying High said...

It is not difficult for anyone even if they are new what is wrong with MAS. What more for a person as smart as Idris.

Having the privilege to work with the man this past year, I come to understand his vision and aspiration which majority of MAS staff including the very senior managers can't.

Sad to say MAS staff are so blinded that they need a good whack on the head to understand this fact and believe me the so called demoralizing ESOS is just that. The sooner they realize this the better for them than bitching about it in the cafeteria.

Yes Idris did make the promise not to lay-off people. But truth is he did say that is possible only if MAS gets to keep all the domestic routes. We lost to Air Asia many of the routes.

Yes Idris did promise to unleash internal talents. But the truth is there aren’t that many talents internally. Sad but true MAS human development programme is nothing to shout about except for the pilots, cabin crew and engineers.

The so called Malaysia Airlines Academy is not an academy at all with the kind of trainers they have ... the less said the better. So is it a surprise then Idris has to turn to Shell and the consulting firms to find talent necessary for his business turn around task. For MAS future, Idris will need to bring in trainers from Shell and the consulting firm to replace the trainers that we have today.

MAS’ managers need not look far how miserable they are. Many still question Idris choice for Firefly chief. The man has said it many times that Eddy Leong was chosen because of his focus and single mindedness yet they still unable to understand what do this mean. This show just how shallow their thinking as MAS managers are.

MAS managers do not have the talent or the ability to look at the big picture required to bring MAS to greater height. Without doubt this is the result of their lack off management training or development.

Back to the so called demoralizing ESOS. Truth is the company had announced it as selective ESOS. Again MAS staff, thinking themselves as privilege citizen of this country (majority of them does and it is not hard to know why) just simply cannot understand what does selective mean.

Truth is Idris had made his promise upfront that those who contributed to the turn around exercise will be amply rewarded. MAS’ staffs need to understand what constitute turn around exercise. And that is exactly what it is.

Truly it is unfair to blame Idris for rewarding the turn around managers for their work that no body in the company is capable of. Fact is many had taken drastic pay cut to join MAS which we see as a national service.

Sad to say MAS middle managers failed to explain to the staff what all this mean. Performing your regular task does not constitute business turn around. Neither is continuing the same old way or worst refusing to accept new way of doing things. Majority of MAS middle managers just plain incapable to execute this simple responsibility.

The irony is majority of the same managers were also generously rewarded with ESOS. They should be thankful by ensuring the rest of company understand and accept the selective ESOS. They have the responsibility to ensure the other 90% are at all time stand firmly behind Idris.

Instead they choose to remain silent about this which unfortunately leads to the current "unrest". MAS and Idris do not need this kind of managers. Neither do the country.

MSS MAS Captain said...

Flying High's comment represent exactly whats wrong in MAS!!!

His view represents all those brought in from the days of Tajuddin Ramli, Mohd Noor Yusof, and now Idris Jala appying their PRE-CONCEIVE and simplistic view of MAS and its workforce.

These ppl have no knowledge and understanding of the history of MAS, root cause of its problem since Tan Sri Aziz left, and basic nature of airline industry.

In is defense of Idris Jala, he exposed his ignorance and prejudice. He will failed like all those bogus doctors that keep treating symptoms than cause of MAS problem. No point for me to elaborate this rude young cikus.

The problem of this country under this idiot PM now is that there are too many smart alec let loose with power but unguided. They have not done or achieve anything in their life to proof their self worth and yet trying to tell the world their textbook theories.

God save Malaysia!!!!

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