MAB seeks strategic partner, not new owner, says Azmin


WHILE five parties have shown interest to help revive Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) via proposals that were presented to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the main aim is to choose the right strategic partner for the ailing national carrier, instead of a new owner.

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said international companies are among the interested parties that have shown their interest in MAB.

He said Khazanah Nasional Bhd has reviewed the proposals and discussed it in its board meeting.

“However, we feel the need to look at other offers as the existing offers are not very interesting and should be studied first.

“There are a few international companies that have shown interest to help, as our aim is not to sell MAB, but to find a strategic partner to help the company recover,” he told reporters at an event by Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Azmin was commenting on Dr Mahathir’s statement in Langkawi regarding the ailing national carrier.

Without divulging much detail, Dr Mahathir said MAB had received five proposals, but a final decision is yet to be made.

Azmin reaffirmed Dr Mahathir’s comment that the government needs “to listen to everybody to find out the best solution” for the matter.

“I don’t want to give a timeline, but the PM had received a visit from an international company recently, and I was asked to have a follow-up discussion and we will have a meeting very soon.

“All of the proposals will be presented and I am hoping that we will be able to conclude the whole exercise as soon as possible because we want MAB to be restored immediately to reduce Khazanah’s current burden,” he said.

The government has been reviewing various proposals in its aim to free MAB from its financial struggles that have been looming since 2014.

Invitations for bids to aid MAB were first issued in August last year. Khazanah and the carrier’s holding company, Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd, have since received proposals from 20 investors to become MAB’s strategic partner.