M’sia Airlines will not be closed down: M’sian finance minister Lim Guan Eng
Lim blamed Najib for creating anxiety with his remarks instead.
Malaysia’s national carrier Malaysia Airlines will not be closed down, according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
On Mar. 13, The New Straits Times (NST) reported Lim as stating Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s earlier comments about the airline had been misconstrued.
Mahathir had earlier said that the government would make a decision, on whether it should be shut down, sold off, or refinanced, which in turn prompted a reply by former PM Najib Razak.
“The former PM issued a statement as if we going to close down Malaysia Airlines. So, I hope we can look at what the PM said properly… we are not going to close down Malaysia Airlines. We want to give this assurance to the employees.”
Najib had urged the government to use his turnaround plan
On Mar. 12, in response to the announcement of the potential fate that awaited Malaysia Airlines, Najib had called selling or closing down the airline a wrong move.
He urged the current government to use his administration’s turnaround plan, The Malay Mail reported.
“No. Absolutely not. It’s a wrong move because Malaysia Airlines is our pride and joy. Malaysia Airlines must continue as our national airline. There must be our turnaround plan. When I was chairman of Khazanah (Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund), our turnaround plan was working.”
In making his case, Najib added that Malaysia Airlines could not be replaced, and that nearly every country had a national airline.
“That doesn’t matter. It is still our national aircraft. Our pride and joy. You cannot replace our national pride with something else. Almost every country has a national airline.”
This led to Najib stressing the viability of his turnaround plan:
“We had a turnaround plan. Go back to that plan. We were confident that we could do a turnaround.”
Lim blames Najib
But Lim explained that Mahathir did not actually say that Malaysia Airlines would be closed down by him.
Rather it was a case of Najib not being fair to Mahathir.
“Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not being fair to my prime minister. He (Mahathir) spoke about the various options presented regarding Malaysia Airlines. He did not say he will close down Malaysia Airlines.”
Lim also blamed Najib for creating unnecessary anxiety with his remarks that the government should not shut down or sell the airline as it was the country’s pride and joy.
“My prime minister never said it (that Malaysia Airlines would be shut down) but the former PM wants to create an alarm.”