Kuala Lumpur: Malaysians are too "stupid" to manage aviation, the country's former premier Mahathir Mohamad has reportedly said following news that a German is set to head the country's troubled national carrier from next year.
Government-owned wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad announced Christoph R Mueller as the chief executive officer-designate of a revamped Malaysia Airlines (MAS New Co) in a bid to turn around the embattled airline.
"Malaysians are stupid. They don't know how to manage aviation," the former prime minister was quoted saying by news portal Malaysiakini, Malay Mail Online said today.
"And now those responsible for the losses try to make things right," he reportedly added in what appears to be a dig at Khazanah, which holds close to 70 per cent shares in MAS.
The flag carrier marked its seventh quarterly loss in a row recently. It sank deeper into the red following the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 on March 8 with 239 passengers on board and the July 17 shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine carrying 298 people.
Malaysia Airlines had raked in billions in profits during the 1980s but began to suffer losses a decade later, after then prime minister Mahathir privatised the airline.