KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 – Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Mohd Khalid Atan criticised Malaysia Airlines (MAS) for sacking an employee without a fair investigation. According to Khalid, MAS’ management was “cruel” for giving an employee, who served them for 32 years and accused of sexually harassing a passenger, the boot.
MAS, he argued, should take action and not wash their hands off the issue as the individual involved was an employee at the time of the incident. “MAS must now ensure whether the employee accused had really harassed anyone or not,” Khalid said when contacted by The Rakyat Post. He added the national carrier should also ensure that an investigation would be done fairly before any punishment was meted out.
To Khalid, the accusation of sexually harassing someone was not an easy one to prove and so it was MAS’ responsibility to conduct a thorough investigation and solve the problem in a better way. Proof, he stressed, was needed. “MAS itself should have sent someone to investigate the case and not let go of its responsibilities like this.”
A former MAS steward was accused of sexually assaulting a 26-year-old Australian passenger during flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris on Aug 7. The 54-year-old was then detained by French authorities upon arrival in Paris. According to French law, he could be detained without trial for up to 10 years. His lawyer, Shailender Bhar, who was hired by his family, said the average period of detention in France was four years. The suspect’s family recently made an appeal to the government to step in and bring him back to Malaysia.