His Majesty raises RB’s mismanagement issues

Azlan Othman

Foreign expatriates working in Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) who refuse knowledge sharing with locals, officers who use RB as a stepping stone for one’s interest by taking advantage of the coronavirus relief package and management misconduct were some of the issues raised in a titah by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during an unscheduled visit to the RB Campus in Jalan Kustin yesterday.

His Majesty also raised the wage gap issue between foreign expats and local workforce in the same position.

“Why does this matter continue to happen? Foreign workers were recruited to guide the local workforce. However at RB, foreign workers’ experience and skills are not shared with the local workforce. They were instead asked to do foreign workers’ job without guidance. If this is the case, it is meaningless for management executives in RB to be held by foreign workers,” the monarch said.

His Majesty also raised the issue of mismanagement where the management forced the local workforce to take leave and hires foreign workers to work in RB at the same time. “Could this be a way of showing off power? I don’t see the good in this kind of attitude; it will only bring harm. Hence, any parties involved in this malpractice should immediately acknowledge it,” the monarch said.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam delivers a titah. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR
His Majesty tours RB’s Hangar building. PHOTO: INFOFOTO

On another note, the monarch said COVID-19 pandemic has led to travel restriction measures impacting the aviation industry globally which has led to a drastic dip in air travel demands.

His Majesty said, “This situation is definitely a bitter challenge for RB and truly test the credibility of all parties, especially board of directors and management executives. It is crucial to implement steps to mitigate the losses. Executive officers, headed by the chief executive officer, should lead the way in steering RB.

“Don’t let officers use RB as stepping stone in advancing one’s interest, such as taking advantage of the coronavirus relief package to gain perks and privileges as well as the facilities offered by the national carrier.”

His Majesty expressed his surprise to learn that RB’s management executives do not get along with the board of directors in terms of planning, human resource management and aircraft purchases matter.

The monarch noted that RB staff had been warned against sharing information regarding the company’s situation, such as the slashing of annual bonus, salary and stagnant job positions to the media.

His Majesty said, “In administration and management, concerned parties in RB should have relevant and clear direction and not merely executing plans without reason, such as booking new aircraft for the sake of getting rid of old ones.

“In my opinion, strategies must be reviewed based on suitability and current trend. To uphold the good name of RB, I advise all parties involved, from the board of directors to executive and administrative officers to other staff at RB, to work as a team and serve with the Bruneian spirit and Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) etiquette while being transparent and sincere to the people and the nation. With this practice, I am convinced that RB will further shine on the global stage.”

His Majesty also said the national carrier has been operational since its establishment on November 18, 1974.

“In its almost 50 years of history, RB has accomplished a lot, most notably when clinching World’s Leading Cabin Crew last November 27.

“The achievement shows that RB is an international-class airline and possesses its own special characteristics that should be upheld.”

The monarch added, “Amid the pandemic, RB was able arrange special flights to bring home Brunei students from countries such as the People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom (UK), Malaysia and the Arab Republic of Egypt”.