Asia Malaysia No need for national airline in every country anymore, says Mahathir

No need for national airline in every country anymore, says Mahathir

The Malaysian PM said that the country could still have a national airline but it does not have to be owned by the government

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Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the days where there is a national airline for every country is over.

His views on the need for a national airline appeared in the Malaysia Airlines inflight magazine, Going Places.

But he also said Malaysia could still have one, but it does not have to be owned by the government.

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

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Malaysia has a few national cars. One of which is sold to a Chinese company and the country is launching a new ‘national’ car.

Proton, the first national car built by Dr Mahathir more than 30 years ago is now run by a Chinese automaker which is changing the local company’s fortunes.

The local auto assembly company is back among the top performers, reports say.

Proton lost its shine with sales dwindling after a good run in the local market and it was finally sold to the Chinese Geely company.

The struggling Malaysia Airlines is looking at a number of options to stem losses in the competitive airline industry.

In June, Dr Mahathir said the government plans to sell the national carrier. A few companies are lining up to take over the airline and the PM said they believe they can revive the airline.

However, he said the company must keep its ‘national’ identity.

AirAsia Group Bhd co-founder and former chairman Pahamin led a group of five businessmen to meet the PM to express interest in taking over the airline.

The Weststar Group is also among the strong contenders in bidding to rescue the ailing airline.

The government is yet to decide which company it will trust in this mission to salvage and keep afloat the ailing national carrier. -/TISG

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