PETALING JAYA: The government has the option of closing down Malaysia Airlines, said former Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim.
“It is very difficult (to say). We don’t have such a big market like Singapore and Thailand.
“Some are saying, ‘Why don’t we close it (Malaysia Airlines) down?’
“Maybe that’s an option for the government to consider,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Malaysian Strategic Financial Outlook Forum organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute, where he was a panel speaker.
The PLUS Malaysia Bhd chairman, who was responding to questions from reporters, added: “I don’t want to comment on it (whether it should be closed down).
“What I’m saying is that there are a lot of people who say we need to re-examine whether we still need a national airline and I think we should look into whether we (still) need it.”
Sheriff pointed out that the airline had been bailed out not just once but two or three times before, but it had not been successful.
“(After) two, three years, then start again. It shows that it is not easy for Malaysia Airlines Bhd to become profitable,” he said.
Sheriff also said there was a need for reforms of government-linked investment companies such as Khazanah and government-linked companies (GLCs).
He felt there was a need for a serious discussion on whether Malaysia needed so many GLCs.
“The governance standards should be improved and we should make sure that there is no political interference in the running of GLCs so that those who remain can do their work properly,” he said.