The Failure Of The MAS-Air Asia Share Swap Is Not Just An Ordinary Failed Corporate Merger But A Failure Of The Prime Minister’s Economic Transformation Program(ETP) (en/cn)

Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 7.5.2012.

The Failure Of The MAS-Air Asia Share Swap Is Not Just An Ordinary Failed Corporate Merger But A Failure Of The Prime Minister’s Economic Transformation Program(ETP) That Is Supposed To Stop The Rot Of Mismanagement, Financial Malpractices And Failed Strategies In GLCs Such As MAS.

After eight months, the controversial MAS-Air Asia share swap has been terminated, purportedly because it has become an impediment to the recovery efforts of the loss-making flag carrier. Under the original deal, MAS would swap a 20.5% stake for 10% in Air Asia. Now, as part of the reversal of the deal, AirAsia’s chief and founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and deputy Datuk Seri Kamarudin Meranun have resigned from the MAS board, with MAS director Mohamed Azman Yahya following suit from AirAsia’s board.

Eight months ago, Malaysians were told that the share swap would be the cure needed to save the ailing national airline. Unfortunately, not long after that, MAS recorded a shocking net loss of RM2.52 billion for 2011, which is the tip of the iceberg for the airline that has been on a downward spiral since the departure of Dato’ Sri Idris Jala in 2009, with its bottomline declining from a net profit of RM490 million in 2009 to RM234 million in 2010 to the staggering loss of RM2.52 billion in 2011.

And now in a complete reversal, Khazanah has admitted that the latest merger of cross-holding of shares, which was intended to create economies of scale for the major shareholders, Khazanah and Tune Air, had become a distraction to the management’s efforts to turn around MAS. In other words, first we were told that the MAS-Air Asia swap would save the airline, and now after eight months we are told that it was actually causing it to fail.

The failure of MAS is a direct reflection of the fundamental problems of the BN legacy, from firstly privatising and subsequently re-nationalisation. Even the 2001 bailout in which the Federal Government paid double the market price at the time could not rescue MAS from its fundamental problems. The Federal Government paid RM1.8 billion or RM8 per share to Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli instead of the market value of RM3.68 at the time.

The failure of the MAS-Air Asia share swap is not just an ordinary failed corporate merger but a failure of the Prime Minister’s much lauded ETPs that is supposed to stop the rot of mismanagement, financial malpractices and failed strategies in Government-Linked Corporations(GLCs) such as MAS.

—-Mandarin Version —-

民主行动党秘书长兼峇眼区国会议员林冠英于2012年5月7日在吉隆坡发表声明:

马航亚航换股计划告吹,这不只是普通的企业合并失败案例,也是首相经济转型计划的失败,经济转型计划原本的用意是要阻止像马航这样的官联公司陷入管理不当、理财不善及策略失败的窘境。

经过8个月,具争议性的马航亚航换股计划正式告吹,因为它将阻碍原本在亏损的航空公司的复苏能力。在原本的换股计划下,马航须以20.5%的股份,换取亚航的10%股份。现在,随着换股交易解除同,亚航的主席兼创办人丹斯里汤尼菲南德斯及副主席拿督斯里卡玛鲁丁已经辞去马航董事的职位,而马航的董事莫哈末阿兹曼也离开亚航董事部。

八个月前,国人被告知换股计划是解救一直亏损的国营航空的解药。不幸地是,不久之后,马航爆出在2011年的亏损达25亿2000万令吉的消息,这只是坏消息的冰山一角,现任首相署部长拿督斯里依德利斯在2009年离开马航后,该公司业绩便急转直下,净利从2009年的4亿9000万令吉下滑至2010年的2亿3400万令吉,接着灾难性的在2011年净亏25亿2000万令吉。

随意换股计划解除,国库控股(Khazanah) 也承认,这宗国内最大的换股合并计划,原本是为主要股东(国库控股和亚航)创造经济规模, 但是,这项计划妨碍了整顿马航的管理。换句话说,本来他们说马航亚航合并可以拯救马航,现在八个月之后,他们说这项计划将让整顿马航的努力失败。

马航的失败直接反映了国阵政权的基本问题,从最先的私营化到国有化。就算2001年联邦政府以双倍的市价,动用公共基金出手拯救(bailout)马航,也无法从根本上救出马航 。当时,联邦政府支付丹斯里达祖丁18亿令吉或每股8令吉的价格,而不是市价每股3.68令吉。

马航亚航换股计划告吹,这不只是普通的企业合并失败案例,也是首相经济转型计划的失败,经济转型计划原本的用意是要阻止像马航这样的官联公司陷入管理不当、理财不善及策略失败的窘境。

林冠英

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