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PUBLISHED: Jun 25, 2014 5:00pm

MAS directors return 2013 fees

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TRP

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PETALING JAYA, June 25:

Non-executive directors of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) unanimously agreed to return the fees paid to them in 2013 after objections were raised by minority shareholders at the national carrier’s annual general meeting today.

The total fees paid in 2013 to the 10 non-executive directors was RM396,000, MAS said in a statement today.

One of the non-executive directors quipped that it was an insult that the issue of fees actually had to be put to a shareholders vote, and was passed.

Group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya had earlier said radical and sweeping changes in business evolution are the carrier’s only option for a turnaround and it is firmly on the management’s agenda.

He also said MAS is not in talks with any other airline to help its planned restructuring. “No, we are not,” Ahmad Jauhari said when asked about possible talks.

He said MAS has four real and tangible world-class assets – products, services, engineering capabilities and safety track records – that it could unlock and unleash the full value of.

“We are actively exploring all options and are close to the point when such delivery is feasible, taking into account the diverse views of different market audiences and participants,” he said at the group’s annual general meeting here.

Ahmad Jauhari said he was optimistic as the foundations for the resurgence of MAS were there.

“We are one of only seven airlines in the world to achieve Skytrax 5-star rating. We took home the coveted Asia’s leading airline recognition at the World Travel Award 2013.

“Our service is truly world class, having received over 100 awards in the last 10 years, including the World’s Best Cabin Crew for eight times.”

Ahmad Jauhari said MAS also has one of the newest fleets in the industry and its engineering arm was used extensively by the rest of the industry.

While there were many points to consider,‎ Ahmad Jauhari said, the group could not simply go on with incremental improvement.

With so much at stake for the airline and Malaysia, this cannot be a partial exercise, he said. “We cannot sacrifice the right outcome to a quick, short-term fix.”

He said radical changes were already on the agenda before the tragic MH370 disappearance. “It has now added‎ entirely unexpected dimension and accelerated the urgency for radical change.”

State investor Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which owns 69% of the airline, had said on June 10 the government will disclose plans to restructure the carrier within six to 12 months.

At the time, Khazanah said MAS had enough cash to ensure operations for 12 months.

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