Another blow for Malaysia Airlines as CEO Christoph Mueller quits


The official reason given by sole shareholder Khazanah is that turnaround specialist Christoph Mueller quit “due to a change in his personal circumstances” after serving one year of his three-year contract.

The matter was discussed and recorded at the Khazanah Board of Directors meeting only yesterday. Christoph will serve the full six-month notice period as CEO until September 2016 after which he will become a non-executive director.

This is a fresh blow to Malaysia Airlines, which has never really recovered from the stewardship of Tajudin Ramli following its privatisation in 1994 during the Mahathir era.

What many people want to know is, has there been outside interference or pressure in the way the airline is being run?

The announcement of Mueller’s departure comes less than 24 hours after a media report highlighted a social media backlash against Malaysia Airlines’ policy not to serve alcohol during short-haul flights. Whose decision was that?

“We are the flag carrier for a diverse and multi faith nation and in response to the preference of the majority of customers, we no longer serve alcoholic beverages for flights less than three hours beginning 1 January 2016,” MAS said in a statement to Malay Mail Online.

A Facebook user, Geoff Siddle, posted on 18 April:

I have noticed a drop in corporate service over the past year, as well as a drop in the quality of the food

The “girls in the frontline” haven’t let me down yet but it’s no fun for them to always have to be responsible to pass on bad news from Corporate to the masses

This latest farce over no alcohol for flights under three hours is just nonsense though. As this weekend has just proven, social media is a very fast way of getting news (good or bad) out very quickly so MAS could have got the message out to people (since January!!)

What the weekend’s discussions have shown is the majority of people who replied were unaware of any change in policy, probably because the average person only gets to travel once a year (I’m sure there’ll be a lot of disappointed people starting their summer holiday dry this year)

But more interesting is the fact Malaysia Airlines still states that the “majority” of their Malaysian clientele have spoken up saying they don’t want alcohol served on flights less than three hours (so long haul flights are ok?!?!?)

In the current dog-eat-dog world of international travel there are certain expectations the average traveller has, and that would be a glass of wine or a cold beer with their meal if a standard flight ticket has been purchased. Budget airlines are different but they let you know about what you do and don’t get, beer & wine can normally be bought

I hope the “powers that be” upstairs at Malaysia Airlines will reconsider this latest decision of theirs as I personally know several people who will no longer fly MAS, I’m still on the fence though but with the ease of just using my Enrich miles on other ONEWorld affiliated airlines…………

Some years ago, a clean-cut man with a flashy car moved in next door to me. Or rather he apparently got the home for one of his wives – so the gossip went – and he would drop by now and then. Apparently, he was involved in catering for Mas and seemed to be living it up, though rather quietly. Those were the days.

In response, one commenter on Facebook wrote:

I’ve been flying MAS for the past 30 years (my whole life) and the decrease in offerings are just abysmal. For an airline that was so proud of its food offerings, even the flight attendants are embarrassed to serve what is on offer now (even in Business Class). Even from December last year, they cut the offerings of alcohol in Business Class, so pretty much half of what was listed on the menu wasn’t available and they pretty much ran out of what they had available (I was on a flight from KL – Beijing). I know I should support my national carrier, but for anything short haul, I now fly AirAsia and for anything long haul, I would rather go Cathay/Singapore/Any Middle Eastern airline.

A relative, an MNC director, told me his recent experience on Business Class was disappointing.

Now, the airlines may have had a bloated headcount, and some layoffs may have been unavoidable but not everyone is happy with the way the exercise has been carried out. Human rights lawyer Charles Hector believes the union has been shoddily treated with the delay in its recognition.

Malaysian Airlines new operator, Malaysian Airlines Berhad, delays recognition of trade union, for what I consider a petty reason – WRONG ADDRESS, and the Director General of Industrial Relations sadly agrees, whereby this was communicated to the Union vide a letter dated 1/3/2016. The application for recognition on 11/9/2015, and about SIX(6) Months, they say ‘Sorry Wrong Address – Please Apply Again?’

I suppose the larger question we should ask is, do we really need a national carrier especially if it is causing us so much angst – and grief even? How much more public money is going to be poured into this? For what? Some superficial notion of ‘national pride’? Like we are basking in ‘national pride’ over Proton?

After all, your biggest carbon sin may be air travel, reports the New York Times:

For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year; the average European, 10.

So if you take five long flights a year, they may well account for three-quarters of the emissions you create. “For many people in New York City, who don’t drive much and live in apartments, this is probably going to be by far the largest part of their carbon footprint,” says Anja Kollmuss, a Zurich-based environmental consultant.

Something to think about, ya?

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After paying for a booking was requested to contact MalaysIan Airlines customer service office quickly. I did that within 5 minutes. No reply from them. Then received the same email from the airline. No reply from them. I phoned the office told the lady who went off to check if my booking was ok. After lengthy wait I hung up. Next I received a third issue of their email. Again I called them. No result. After the fourth attempt I emailed them and asked if my emails to them were being received. No reply. Phoned the number given for their… Read more »

Ed G

To suddenly quit “due to a change in his personal circumstances” certainly raise much suspicion especially when it is within public knowledge that the actions he has undertaken to turnaround the failing airline are against the interest of many, especially the powerful and influential ones. It is no secret that the pathetic state in which the national carrier is in is largely due to mismanagements such as lopsided contracts, overpaying and overemploying of staffs, political meddling, purchases at ridiculous pricing as so forth. The actions by the outgoing CEO would definitely hurt the pockets of many of the scoundrels who… Read more »

Johan Khun Pana

A real professional does not quit mid way until the pledge or service is rendered.
No professionals quits prematurely solely because of a personal domestic issue.
The Prime Minister of a certain country … is a fine example.
Caught in a tangle of messy corruption scandals , allegedly involvement in murder , massive abuse of government funds , illogical mind boggling donation, scandalous first family , petty wife and still he does not quit.
*I did not mention who therefore this can be printed.

Vincent Ang

Yaaa!!!!! Another ‘Ketuanan… airline. I bet … (many) must be jumping with joy…. It amazes me how stupid (some) are when it comes to the matter of … race and religion.Justifying the non serving of alcohol on short haul flights just because it offends so-called … sensitivities is plainly playing to the arrogance of … bigots. MAS is going to die and [who] will suffer the most when that day comes[?] …


Mana Ada Sistem lah ! Sekarang P-oton-g lagi lah…

Bachelor Boy

MAS food caterer with long term contract now to provide fast food for 7-11; not sure we get to taste that ” nasi lemak” Pak Lah would recommend Pak Bad it’s at AirAsia???


Mahathir recalled Mueller had previously complained about the quality of the in-flight food.”The quality of food has been deteriorating, however he cannot do anything as MAS has signed a 15 year contract with the in-flight catering services provider,” said the former PM. Brahim’s Airline Catering Sdn Bhd (BAC), formerly known as LSG SkyChefs-Brahims Sdn Bhd, is the principal inflight service provider, providing inflight meals and services at both the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Penang International Airport. Brahim owns 70% of shares in BAC and the balance (30%) is owned by MAS. Any idea who are the principal owners… Read more »

Julian Candiah

After nearly 60 years of independence and many years of sending locals to Oxford, Harvard, etc etc we still hire foreigners ? He probably spent the 1 year goofing around and enjoying his expat salary and now when it comes to doing the hard work, has taken the easy route. Ha ha ha. We have so many home grown aviation experts why not try them ?


personal reasons will b dat he can’t do the job b/c of all the bull… that goes on as MAS is basically a charity. Shut it down


Actually Air Asia is [allegedly] cheating customers with cheap fares when it would change your flight time to early morning or late evening closer to the departure date, to the inconvenience of the customers. Try writing to its customer centre and you will only get a reply 2 months later, long after the flight date. Shame on you Tony Fernandez, you are a loser just like your QPR!


“zero” fare promo from Air Asia you have to pay many months in advance for Fernandez to spin the cash flow. the flight schedules then subject to revision. whether this is honest marketing is still very ambiguous !


I had similar bad experience. Now I do not take Air Asia but Tiger Air. Air Asia is very poor in handling customer feedback, in fact they just ignore your request despite forcing customers to switch to different flight time.


Cant help but to say Malaysia is a joke !!! But, why ??? Isnt it one of our SLOGANS says malaysia boleh ??? Laugh or cry, my fellow malaysians ???

gk ong

MAS wants to be in the same league as Rayani. Good luck!


Clean as puan zeti as bank negara’s governor for ages (pun intended), why cant you Mr mueller ??? Cant wait for him to tell us the truth.

I think it is either you join them or you leave. The former is you help me i help you, the latter is i mean business i have principle, integrity and dignity. Choose wisely as we shall all meet our Maker, one day !!!

Gregory R Warrier



Syariah compliance?
Or UMNo cronies Compliance?

rajraman.I don”t care who and what they drink and to who they pray but i care more when our $$$ collected was misused…


When you are flying, you are nearer the Almighty.
So the smell of alcohol in one’s breathe is not pious.
The pious would want us to look good, smell good & presentable as we may bump into Almighty in the high skies.
This is how the Arabians fly on magic carpets …



3 hours flight bump with Almighty but after 3 hours can do all the sins?…’s like calling the name of ALLAH is illegals in Penisular but once you cross to Sabah and Sarawak you can call the Arabs words for god “ALLAH”

Malaysia you can call ALLAH in Sabah and Sarawak.