SINGAPORE (July 8): The proposed wider collaboration between the national carriers in Singapore and Malaysia has stirred up considerable attention, as well as speculation that it paves the way to a merger of Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. The two airlines have had a long working relationship in the past and, indeed, one analyst, Mohshin Aziz of Maybank Kim Eng, said in May that their merger would result in greater efficiency. 

On July 3, it was reported that the former non-executive chairman of AirAsia, Pahamin Ab Rajab, had asked Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for approval to conduct due diligence on MAS. Pahamin was part of a group of businessmen with a proposal to turn the ailing airline around. Mahathir is also chairman of Khazanah Nasional, the sole shareholder of MAS and which has yet to approve the airline’s latest long-term business plan.

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