Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dear MAS staff, we are sorry

The Star's frontpage yesterday was truly a heartbreaking image.

This week MAS employees will get termination letters from present operating company of Malaysian Airlines. Some will get letter of offer from the newco that will be taking over the operation. Out of 20,000 staff, one third or 6,000 will not get any offer.

In yesterday's report, one could hear staff complaining of MAS management refusal to talk to unions. Union head are trying to seek PM's last minute help because 8,000 will immediately lose their job tomorrow.

Their jobs would have been saved had the union heads been honest in their work and demands in the past. No, we are not about to repeat what past arguments of faulting unions for MAS failure. It is insensitive to do so.

It would be replicating the insensitive behaviour of the nutty and chicken dance Director of HR, Zaharah Zaid. She sent an e-mail to tell the staff to clean up their table from last week but in a subtly insulting manner. It is fair to ask as to what happen to adab sopan Melayu that was hallmark of Malaysian Hospitality?

Some staff complained to the paper that it is unfair to take our job away when it was the mistake of top management. It is sad but the reality of Corporate Malaysia started out by Khazanah Nasional is devoid of human sensitivity and social nation building agenda.

Whatever they did under so-called CSR are for show. There is no heart that came with it.

After having written countless postings over the years to help defend and save MAS, the common denominator in the turnaround of MAS from Binafikir inspired WAU till today, the driver seat of MAS remained with Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.

Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli left in 2001 and it is today 2015, thus time to stop blaming him. Also, it is time to stop blaming Tan Sri Mohamed Nor Yusof or Dato Fuad Dahlan or Dato Idris Jala or Tengku Dato Azmil or Ahmad Jauhari.

Only Azman Mokhtar and Khazanah should be blame. Why is merit-based Corporate Malaysia not applying the same chop chop on Azman Mokhtar and Khazanah for their failure at MAS?

This blog kept emphasizing him that the CEO should be an Airliner but till MAS is finished that he finally accepted the idea that only an airliner could manage an airline to put Christophe Mueller as CEO. Can Mueller make the magic he had done with other previous employers?

It is like what Khazanah did with Ahmad Jauhari to do a major collaboration with Air Asia and only brought in a CEO to make a plan that will not work to work.

The collaboration did not work and tanked. Still Azman Mokhtar is still around. Khazanah is still the real CEO running the airline. He is adamant that MAS follow his and only recipe despite it not showing any signs of success ever. 

All along, Khazanah is more concern with Air Asia, another airline in which Khazanah has a little interest but CIMB has large exposure. Now Dato Nazir Tun Abdul Razak is on the Board of Director of Khazanah and chairs the executive committee.

Khazanah had all the while been insistent that the only way to clear MAS out of the rut is through out-sourcing, become low caste no frill airline, and enough of national airline status.

Even critical area is out-sourced to enable the sacking of the 6,000-8,000. MAS will be reduced to a regional based value airline. In another word, a smaller Air Asia.

Will it be cost competitive to compete with Air Asia? The end is already written on the wall.

Over the years, this blog have tried hard to highlight the mistake the leadership had done in handling MAS. We fought for the interest of MAS and its staff by highlighting the problems and weakness of management and stakeholder.

This week confirmed that all our effort had been in vain. People up there are too stubborn and they did not take heed the political implication for not safeguarding MAS.

To all MAS staff, we could only say, "We are sorry for failing you". We apologise for not able to make it happen.

Not only through our writings, we had engaged with various level of people and leadership to highlight MAS problems in which much of it was due to bad high level decisions made at Khazanah and brought forward some of the MAS staff suggestions

Since the top level leadership is inside the Board of Director of MAS, it is hard for them to over ride what was agreed at the Board level. In the place they should not be on the Board and that way, they could screw and remove management for failing in MAS.

We have tried our best but our best wasn't just good enough.

Pray that you all manage to get through this life's ordeal. Some will be given a letter to the CDC to assist them in seeking employment and getting retrained.

Our hope that the compensation is fair and substantial because when Idris Jala retrenched 3,000 before, it was a good compensation. Those left behind are supposed to be the better, dedicated and capable ones. It is only fair that they are compensated equally well for their loyalty.

Having undergone through similar situation before, our advise is to have trust in God and have faith with fate. It is only a small diversion from a bigger journey.

My prayers for all of you.


Pemerhati shj. said...

There are two sides or maybe even more to any story that involves many character. I will not comment on management or bod or khazanah. Too many unions with too many stupid past demands is a huge factor. Like pilots get drivers to bring them to the airport if they live in maximum radius from the airport? Who's dumb idea was this? Staffs get 2 free tix per annum, who's dumb idea was this? If you dish out for 5 years of service or other commemorative event, thats understandable but for every year? No wonder mas bled quicker. the union are equally quilty in this. They made working for mas like being a rockstar. Now you reap what you sow. A ball park figure of the wastages the unions caused from drivers' salary, $$$ per air distance flown and other dumb perks the staffs are afforded due to management (past and present) caving into union(s) demand could be in the region of hundreds of million. So i think time is good that this time, mas keep its feet firm.

Anonymous said...

We really should ask Doktor Mahathir. Blame is his.

mapsscom said...









Anonymous said...

Please prevent AirAsia from getting the exclusive rights to fly to Europe. MAS should fly to Europe. Something is fishy with this. It's like killing MAS so that AirAsia can profit from it.

The said...

Mana Ada Sistem is too bloated. Period.

Tebing Tinggi said...

Why don't you do a comparison with SIA? After all, MAS and SIA both sprung from the same "parent" - MSA.

How is it that a little red dot city-state can grow and nurture one of the world's best airlines?

Have you taken a look at SIA's fleet size - A380s, B777s and now A350s?

The latest and most fuel-efficient aircraft. How did SIA manage it and continue to remain profitable?

SIA is a Singapore GLC. It has a strong parent - Temasek Holdings.

It operates profitable international routes - to the US, Europe, UK, Australia, China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia.

MAS couldn't pull it off. SIA could.


Jabalnur said...

Has everyone forgotten about the controversy over the infIight kitchen?

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Pemerhati shj. I have 2 friends who are pilots working for MAS and AirAsia respectively.

MAS Pilot - van driver to pick them up from their home, get to check in to hotels even if its a domestic flight that terminates at another airport

AirAsia Pilot - self drive to work, flights are tailored so that the pilot would return to home base ie KLIA. Hotels are only applicable to long haul AirAsia X staff.

Anonymous said...

You can't sweep the privatisation of MAS to Tajudin Ramli under the carpet on the grounds that it is history!

In the first place, why was MAS privatised? Was it in dire straits then? And why to T R? Why not through a competitive open exercise?

Next, did the government ever have a National Aviation Policy?

What about making KLIA a regional air hub? Somebody dropped the ball big time on this. The result - Changi Airport is the major air hub in the region and is too far ahead for KLIA to catch up.

So, if MAS and KLIA were both operating on weak and uncompetitive strategies, who is to blame? The government, as in the Transport Ministry?

Anonymous said...

Guess its not a good time to fly mas then....

Anonymous said...

By right, if 6,000 MAS staff has to go, the top management who failed to bring MAS to greater heights should also be among those who must leave the company. Patut ada rasa tanggungjawab sikit, kalau kita ketua dan kita gagal, kemudian orang lain kena tanggung, memang muka tak malu lah. The top management who failed should also be sacked, simply because they failed and also these muka temboks will not resign voluntarily to accept their failure. Just resign and let Mr. Mueller has free hands. Union MAS pun satu, sekarang nasi dah jadi bubur kan? And then, bini2 politicians dan rombongan poco-poco, minor royals, org2 kaya perasan kaya, who in the past can get to travel First or Business Classes by buying Economy tickets, guna cable, org dalaman, tak nak bayar excess baggage dan yg sama waktu dgnnya, pon patut dipersalahkan juga. Sucking life out of MAS. Mr. Mueller should be given a free hand to get rid of MAS of parasites. It's a company and it must make money, otherwise it won't make any sense.

Pwincess will boycott Malaysia Airlines for every normal staff being shown the door, so if it's 6000, then it'll be 6,000 days. But if one top management who's useless is also shown the door, Pwincess will deduct 300 days out of that. It's time for a spring clean. Apa susah, nak pi London boleh naik Emirates, Etihad atau Qatar. BA pun akan datang KLIA juga. Other destinations? Bukan MAS fly semua tempat pon. But we need MAS, it always nice to feel at home when you're flying out.


P.S. I hate AirAsia and AirAsia X, harap2 melingkup cepat2. Kutipan Airport Tax bila nak pulang pada MAHB? Katanya siap dapat discount plak? If AirAsia or AirAsia X is going to drag CIMB to the drain, so be it.

Anonymous said...

Honeymoon is over for MAS staff. This is known fact...if cant survive then better to close down. What's the point of carry on at a lose. Time to change.
Am surprise that pilot able to check into hotels for domestic flights and have drivers. Our red-dot competitor dont have this privilege. Even regional flights are turn around ie fly and be back. Only long distance flight such as more than 5 hours then pilot can check into hotel. No drivers...you drive to work or take a cab.
So MAS staff....honeymoon over...wake up from your dream. Dont blame the management only but blame everyone.

Anonymous said...

After 15 years it is ridiculous that khazanah could not turnaround mas after spending billions. Yet malaysians still blaming tajuddin ramli who was not involved in llast 14/15 years, lost money due to soros forex manipulation but was operationally profitable. Khazanah had not made it operationably profitable but is still insistance on doing it in their wrongful ways. Khazanah mgmt should quit!!!

Anonymous said...


"People up there are too stubborn and they did not take heed the political implication for not safeguarding MAS." the correct word is thick skin dan berlagak pandai. In effectual total idiot management. AJY, AMokh, Izani all should be in jail and spending side by side with Saudara kita di Sg. Buloh.

The issue is not about political implication the issue is about mismanagement run down by these goons whom pretends to know about Airline business, they are there because of political ketuanan Melayu dan atas dasar polisi "I know who to get in". Period.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3.41, neither does racism or coolie mentality has a place in this age of globalization.

Pemerhati shj. said...

Did i touch a nerve? You got the sack before you redeemed your free tix or are you from one of the three union? As far as i know, the policies i mentioned, one need not be an airline analyst to comment and see how stupid they are.

Anonymous said...


"Free" annual and discounted tickets are the practise of almost all airlines in the world. Hardly a union thing. That is all MAS staff gets.

Should pick on other issues.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:41 PM aka Pwincess

But, then, how about SIA?

That airline has better managers than MAS?

Meritocracy, Singapore-style?

Or a bottom-linr profit-oriebted management that doesn't make excuses or back away from competition.

And with no "social agendas" to worry about.

You have been going on about AirAsia.

What about the Gulf airlines?

Toodles, ma Cherie


My Say