May 5, 2009

Former PM Abdullah made adviser to Malaysian Airlines

Former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been appointed as an adviser to national carrier Malaysian Airlines (MAS), a month after stepping down from office. Former prime ministers are traditionally given advisory positions in government-linked companies in Malaysia. Abdullah's predecessor Mahathir Mohamad was made an adviser to national oil company Petronas and automaker Proton after stepping down in 2003.

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been appointed as an adviser to national carrier Malaysian Airlines, a month after stepping down from office, the airline said Tuesday.

"The board welcomes (Abdullah) with his wide experience and extensive contacts, to this non-executive appointment and looks forward to a beneficial association with him," the airline's chairman Munir Majid said in a statement.

Abdullah resigned last month in favour of his deputy Najib Razak, forced to bow out after a disastrous performance in general elections a year ago.

Former prime ministers are traditionally given advisory positions in government-linked companies in Malaysia.

Abdullah's predecessor Mahathir Mohamad was made an adviser to national oil company Petronas and automaker Proton after stepping down in 2003.

Mahathir, who publicly undermined Abdullah and helped hasten his departure, retains his role with Petronas, which gives him arguably one of Kuala Lumpur's best offices, a top floor in the Petronas Twin Towers.

Abdullah is also expected to work on Islamic think tanks and help build closer relations with Middle-East countries, an official in the new premier's office said on condition on anonymity.

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