Asia Malaysia Dr M: A national airline can be operated by the private sector

Dr M: A national airline can be operated by the private sector

"Now you can have a number of airlines. One of those can be called a national airline because it carries the symbol (of the nation) but it can be operated by the private sector," said Dr Mahathir

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Kuala Lumpur — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad shared his opinion regarding Malaysia’s national airline.

In an interview with Going Places, the in-flight magazine of Malaysia Airlines, PM Mahathir said that the country’s national airline does not necessarily have to be owned by the government.

One of the questions that came up was whether having a national carrier is now only of patriotic value.

“Now you can have a number of airlines. One of those can be called a national airline because it carries the symbol (of the nation) but it can be operated by the private sector,” PM Mahathir answered as quoted in a report by The Star.

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Malaysia Airlines is reportedly losing money and is considering other options in order to cut losses.

Read: Businessmen raising $330m to secure Malaysia Airlines deal

Dr Mahathir added that he always enjoyed the food served on board back in the day.

“The food was good, and of course, being the prime minister, I get to fly in First Class,” he said.

However, he acknowledged the many bureaucratic procedures in the country’s tourism sector along with how Malaysians can appear to be less hospitable than neigbouring countries.

“We find that in some countries people are always smiling, they are very welcoming to tourists, but sometimes, Malaysians don’t behave like that,” Dr Mahathir said.

He emphasized the important contribution of IT industries to provide better incomes. The Malaysian public needs to keep up with the necessary skills to serve in such industries.

Although the government intends to delve in to artificial intelligence as well, Dr Mahathir said “it will take some time to materialise” considering the setbacks caused by the lack of a skilled workforce. -/TISG

If Mahathir helped build AirAsia, why is Malaysia Airlines failing?

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