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Bellew refutes Dr Mahathir’s accusations of political interference

Peter Bellew

PETALING JAYA: Outgoing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) group managing director and chief executive officer Peter Bellew has refuted Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s allegation that political interference in the management of the national airline was the reason he left the company.

Bellew clarified that he had received no interference from anyone on anything during his time in the company since he assumed the position on July 1 last year.

“Tun (Dr) Mahathir is completely wrong. 100 per cent wrong… No interference. I just want to “Balik Kampung” (go back to my home country). It’s that simple, there’s no mystery, there’s no controversy,” he told a special press conferenc, here, today.

He was responding to the Pakatan Harapan chairmans’ recent blog posting which among others claimed that his resignation was due to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s interference in the management of the company.

Bellew also stressed that Najib had not interfered n any way that in fact the Prime Minister had encouraged him at every step.

Bellew said that Dr Mahathir had not even sent anyone to clarify on matters he had accused.

Bellew tendered his resignation on Oct 8 to take up a position at Ireland’s best known airline, Ryanair.

On the appointment of Captain Izham Ismail as his successor, he said Izham was the right man for the job.

“He is a great man, extremely knowledgeable…I hope you would give him support, its never going to be an easy job, the expectation of a nation is huge,” he said.

Izham, currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of MAS, will assume his new role on Dec 1 upon the departure of Peter Bellew, who is currently on administrative leave. – BERNAMA