Socio-economy

Azman Mokhtar Must Go (Part 1)

I have been monitoring the recent pandemonium surrounding our aviation industry concerning very top level personnel which is rather embarrassing and unprecedented in terms of its sheer implications.

My last article regarding an apparent share swap between Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines (“MAS”) turned out to be an outright management takeover of MAS by Air Asia as time moves on.

Right from the outset, there is something really wrong with the deal but the market was somewhat pacified when Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar assured Malaysians that MAS will not be taken over by Air Asia. The justification of the deal was that it will help the floundering MAS.

But the manner the deal was executed raised many eyebrows.

Khazanah had to fork out tax payers’ money to buy Air Asia’s over-priced shares which, few months before the share swap deal was announced on August 9th, was escalating sky high in the regions of more than RM4.

Juxtaposing this with the share price of MAS which went in a downward spiral a few months before the deal to be around RM1.60, allegations of insider’s trading and share price manipulation emerged.

MAS and Air Asia’s share counters were suspended on the 8th August but the suspension came too late and was seen as just a formality as the little Napoleons in Khazanah had made the final preparations of the share swap and it was beyond the point of no return at that time. True enough, the share swap was announced on 9th August amidst all the speculation and mystery.

In the end, Tune Air Sdn Bhd which controls Air Asia, bought 20% of cheap MAS shares while tax payers had to buy the much higher Air Asia shares. To make matters worse, the share price of Air Asia dropped the very next day thus the tax payers lost more money barely 24 hours after the deal was announced.

As Khazanah lost money over the deal, the new shareholders of MAS; Tony Fernandes and Kamaruddin Meranun gained more money as MAS shares jumped to RM1.79; 19 sen more than the price they had to pay to get the 20% stake.

The share swap enables Tony Fernandes and his partner to be executive directors of MAS while non of MAS’ Board of Directors were elected as Air Asia’s director. As the result, Air Asia now has the ability to learn about MAS’ business plans on yearly, monthly, weekly or daily basis while MAS has no clue on what Air Asia might do. One wonders how this can help MAS in the long run.

Tony himself was quoted in newspapers saying that the share swap is not a merger but an alignment of both companies’ shareholders. In his own words – “this is not a merger; it is a shareholder alignment”.

Therefore, why is MAS being unfairly disadvantaged from the start?

Furthermore, soon after the deal was announced and inked, the first conflict of interest occurred when MAS had to fork out RM18 million ringgit and give it to QPR; a lowly football club owned by Tony Fernandes.

Basically, MAS was made to give millions of ringgit to one of its directors in exchange of 11 jerseys with MAS logo printed on it.

MAS is not Berjaya, Genting UK or YTL. It is owned by the government and ultimately owned by the people. MAS suffered more than RM700 million losses in the first half of 2011 and still can afford to pay and enrich one of its director by another RM18 million.

What irked me the most is that Air Asia will only fork out RM12 million for the RM30 million advertising deal. A deal which was brokered and price set by Tony himself.

For Air Asia, it is the case of getting money from Tony’s right pocket and putting it into his left. But for MAS, they were screwed from the beginning.

All this happened under the watchful eye of Azman Mokhtar. His partner in the form of Danny Yusof made to look like Tony’s chief khadam and had to fly all the way to England to witness the official signing of giving away MAS’ precious fund to Tony.

Note that Genting spent only RM17 million to sponsor an even bigger club, Aston Villa which undoubtedly, after all is said and done, made Danny Yusof, the executive director of MAS, an idiot.

In any other instances which all experts of corporate governance will agree, the whole board of directors of MAS will be hauled up and made to answer in Parliament on the blatant misappropriation of funds of a GLC. Heads should roll.

Imagine, if money from a GLC was given to another company belonged to its new director in exchange of something which is terribly overpriced.

It is wrong on two counts; the over inflated price, and the conflict of interests that involved. By right, Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun should have either resigned from MAS’ Board or from QPR’s for the deal to happen.

But what did the boss of Khazanah do?

Azman Mokhtar claimed that the QPR sponsorship is a good deal. From which part of the abyss he would have made that call, I can never fathom.

What is so good about it when RM18 million is used to sponsor home jerseys which could only be seen by 18,500 spectators in QPR’s small stadium while Air Asia which only had to fork out RM12 million has its logo in the away jerseys which can be seen by up to 60,000 spectators if they play much bigger teams?

Will this benefit MAS, or does it benefit Air Asia more?

Azman Mokhtar is the tumour that is infecting Khazanah Nasional ever since he was appointed to lead the corporation while his misjudgments and bad decisions are diseases that have been plaguing the government’s investment arm all this while.

After Khazanah lost RM18 billion worth of investments made in 2008, Azman Mokhtar is still being trusted to play with tax payers’ money while the government has no control over him. In fact, for this huge loss, his contract was extended for another 3 years!

To be continued..

18 thoughts on “Azman Mokhtar Must Go (Part 1)

  1. Better still, ask AMO to resign and hire TS Hassan Merican to Khazanah. Surely Khazanah then will become the next cash cow for government like what he did with Petronas.

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  3. JMD, home jersey is actually a first choice jersey. It will be used at home matches 100% of the time, but will also be used at away matches when the opposing team’s jersey is of different color. So the home jersey (or first choice jersey) will be used during QPR away games at Liverpool, MU etc. Why can’t people get this right. You are not the first one to make this mistake. Now I am curious about your other “facts”

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    • No my friend, you are wrong. Home jersey is when they play AT their small stadium in Loftus Road while AirAsia jersey will be played when they go to other stadiums; be it Liverpool’s Anfield or Man United’s Old Trafford. On top of that, by paying lesser than MAS, AirAsia’s logo will also be printed on their THIRD jersey if the team they are playing at other stadiums have the same colour as QPR’s away jersey.

      MAS = Home jersey only but pay RM18 million
      AirAsia = Tony take his own RM 12 million and give it back to himself and get the Away and Third jersey.

      News can be read here and here.

      Why can’t you get your facts right first ya? Thank you and have a good day.

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      • You are right Haneefa. I didn’t watch that game. Probably Norwich vs QPR game wasn’t a priority among global audience to be shown on TV. But here are pictures of QPR’s away games with Tottenham and Fulham.

        They all wore away jerseys with Air Asia logo imprinted on it. Maybe due to colour similarities they will opt for the home jerseys. But officially, the policy states that MAS’ logo will appear on home jerseys. Having said that, I do hope that QPR will wear their home (blue and white) jersey with MAS logo on it when facing Liverpool tomorrow instead of the usual orang jersey since Liverpool will wear their usual red home kit.

        Thank you.

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  4. wonder how long will it take us malaysian to do something about this. the gov wont do anything, politicians does not even try to voice it out, the few that did were “melepaskan batuk ditangga”. if they claimed they have voiced it out, it makes them dungu politicians as khazanah,mof, sc, tf or air asia are not giving the fcuk. the umnoist and opps are busy getting seats for the next ge…mca, mic n gerakan busy reestablishing themselves to survive. nobody is listening. maybe pru 12 is not a good lesson or not enough a lesson for the politicians.

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    • The only way to send this message and get rid of this economics parasites is to vote out UMNO. All these cannot be done without the consent of the Finance Minister who is also UMNO President. So there is something we can do about. The UMNO President in turn is corrupted by his brother Nazir RAzak where volumes have been written about him. When there is no clear winner or even a new Finance Minister, nazir razak, Azman mohktar, nor yakcob can be charged for economics sabotage and put in jail.

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  5. Diploma in Islamic Studies UIA
    Development Studies in Cambridge

    This is the guy who is good at talking but bad at thinking. In Malaysia to be at the top, you must have good ability to talk cock and superb ass kissing techniques. Good qualification and skill not necessary.

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  6. it’s a little naive to think that Azman would have endorsed the “merger cum shareholder alignment” without the explicit approval of Najib. And once Najib’s has lent his name to the transaction, no one would lift a finger to admonish Azman, the MAS BOD or Air Asia.

    Whether or not the deal benefits MAS, can only be gauged over a period of time. If in a year or so, no tangible benefits are forthcoming and indeed registered, then, and only then, would everyone involved, except Tony, face the pressure.

    Right now, I am sure that certain assurances would have been provided by Azman and his team about the benefits of such a collaboration, and the assurances are for the future to prove right or wrong.

    I tend to believe that Azman’s arguments to Najib would have considered an “exit clause”, and that alone is sufficient for everyone to walk away free.

    Malaysia has NEVER subjected persons who made such decisions with public money, to scrutiny or face the full extent of the law, and they are not about to start now.

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    • how well do we know that the PM was properly briefed to the tiniest details of the swap deal? I bet only all the good things was presented to him. any intel on this JMD?

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  7. The only reason why a Melayu korporat can run a business like that is because it is not his money in the first place. Taxpayer fund. Manalah dia tahu betapa susahnya nak grow a company to a listed company and stay sucesssful. Nearly everybody I have met sings praises of how smart Danny and Amokh are. I have only 1 thing to say. Book smart and business smart is two different thing. Yang book smart tu, please be in academic. Tolong stop doing an Anwar on the rakyat.

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  8. This kind of GLC CEO’s should be fired….. Azman Mokhtar was just another example of a stupid bastard hired by the government to run GLC. Perhaps the stakeholders should assess each and everyone of them annually before letting them continue to run it.

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  9. Yes, TS Hassan Merican should be called back from Singapore and Houston to lead Khazanah. But again, he was unceremoniously let go by DSNR. Unless the pressure is strong from other members of Cabinet I doubt the PM will consider TS Hassan.

    So Malaysia loss.

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  10. Pingback: Should Tan Sri Tony Fernandes & Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar “Gunned Down”? « On Da Street

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  12. haneefa tamby – qpr is one puny little club which has just been upgraded to
    premier league.

    wtf are you trying to say?

    You are to small and little paria to make a new definition when pointed that
    that aa had taken the rakyat for a ride.

    a general **** u to u and your ilk in aa and khazanah/bina fuckers and geng

    go matilah /sueh siow

    JMD : Comment moderated with apology.

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