Appointment of local to helm airline 'should be welcomed'

KUALA LUMPUR • The appointment of home-grown talent, Captain Izham Ismail, to helm Malaysia Airlines as group chief executive officer should be welcomed by all quarters, said Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday.

He said it should also put an end to criticisms against the government, including over the appointments of two non-Malaysians (Mr Christopher Mueller and Mr Peter Bellew) who resigned before their contract period as chief of the national carrier was completed.

"When Peter Bellew resigned, I was also criticised. Now that we've appointed a Malaysian, they should be happy, they wanted a Malaysian in the first place.

"The trouble with these people (opposition) is that everything we do, they take the opposite view, whether it is right or not, it doesn't matter," said Datuk Seri Najib during a dialogue session at the Malaysia Chinese Youth Summit 2017, which was also attended by Mr Liow Tiong Lai, president of the Malaysian Chinese Association.

Mr Izham, the airline's chief operating officer, has been appointed executive director and group CEO-designate with immediate effect. The announcement came after the surprise resignation of Mr Bellew, who is returning to Irish budget airline Ryanair on Dec 1.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 22, 2017, with the headline 'Appointment of local to helm airline 'should be welcomed''. Print Edition | Subscribe