KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — Khazanah Nasional Bhd is still evaluating the form of compensation it will hand out to the 6,000 staff of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) who will be laid off in an ambitious restructuring exercise to bring the ailing national carrier back to profitability, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said the national investment firm is still waiting for the results of a talent evaluation programme that is being conducted by MAS before it can make a decision on the matter.
“Apart from a retrenchment scheme, Khazanah is currently evaluating other schemes that can be considered to make sure the best talents are given incentives and remain in ‘MAS Baru’,” he said in a written parliamentary reply to PKR’s Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen.
Khazanah announced in August a RM6 billion takeover of MAS, which fell further into crisis after the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 that threatened to sink its poor financials.
The sovereign wealth fund later unveiled a 12-point turnaround plan for the national carrier, titled ‘Rebuilding A National Icon - The MAS Recovery Plan’, which includes transferring all MAS assets to a new entity tentatively known as ‘MAS Baru’ or ‘new MAS’.
Khazanah has also established an Outplacement Centre (OPC) that will provide support to the 6,000 staff who will be retrenched in terms of placement and professional, emotional and financial support during the transition period.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, stressed that MAS is an important contributor to the country’s revenue by virtue of the high rate of economic multipliers that come with the airline industry.
“For example, for every staff taken on by MAS, there are four other support positions that are created in various fields in the economy. Hence, MAS must continue to play an important role in developing Malaysia’s economy and continue to contribute to the nation’s GDP (gross domestic product),” he said.