The appointment of Izham Ismail comes three days after Bellew's premature departure, which was announced by budget carrier Ryanair.
The move means that Malaysia will have to appoint a third chief executive in three years as it continues to recover from two tragedies in 2014, when flight MH370 disappeared in what remains a mystery and flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.
"The trouble with these people (opposition) is that everything we do, they take the opposite view, whether it is right or not, it doesn't matter", said Najib during a dialogue session on TN50: Malaysia Chinese Youth Summit 2017 at Wisma Huazong, Serdang near here, which was also attended by MCA president Liow Tiong Lai.
"We again sincerely apologise to our customers for these deeply regretted cancellations", said Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair's chief marketing officer.
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Malaysia Airlines said the appointment of a Malaysian is "timely" and in line with the succession outlined in the five-year turnaround plan announced in late 2014.
Bellew, who was previously Ryanair's director of flight operations, joined Malaysia Airlines in 2015 as its chief operating officer under a major revamp to help the airline return to the black. The Irishman, who will return to Ryanair, is now on administrative leave. As COO, he has been responsible for the operations division, including flight and airport operations, plus engineering.
He broke world aviation records when he flew Malaysia Airlines' first B777-200 eastward from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur and back.
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"Captain Izham is a key member of the MH family and brings with him 38 years of experience in the aviation industry", said Md Nor Yusof on Izham's appointment. Bellew's predecessor, Christoph Mueller, also quit before the end of his contract.
"As provided for by the MRP, the restructuring of Malaysia Airlines follows a well laid-out governance and approval framework". His responsibilities will focus on pilot production, training and career development.
Malaysia Airlines' outgoing chief executive Peter Bellew said on Wednesday his decision to leave the airline for Ryanair RYA.I was due to a sense of responsibility to his native country.
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She added: "Terrorists are strong, they are adaptable and the terrorist threat is the highest it has been since pre-9/11". We think the level of terrorist threat against the United States too is extremely high.