Azman Mokhtar Must Really Go (Part 2)

In the first part of this article, we just scratched the surface of the lopsided sponsorship deal that benefited Air Asia more than MAS although the latter paid more money into the coffers of QPR.

But that’s not all. There are more serious issues at stake.

If we imagine all of us are the Board of Directors in MAS, which team should we put our money into; QPR, Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool?

Good branding strategy by owners of Mister Potato to associate themselves with Man United

If Telekom and even Mister Potato can sponsor Manchester United, why on earth would Malaysia Airlines sponsor a newly promoted team like QPR?

The next question is, how long had the marketing team in MAS looked into advertising in an English Premier League teams? Was decision made before the share-swap or after?

Why were better and bigger clubs not selected?

I suspect, just like how any normal consultant turned management person like Danny Yusof would react, the deal was a kneejerk reaction after being cajoled by Tony Fernandes and it was shoved into MAS’ throat without any proper marketing analysis on return on investment.

There is no way a sane Marketing head of a GLC would give away RM18 million knowing full well that the return on investment of its advertising value will be much higher if he had sponsored other bigger clubs.

Who in MAS decides where the advertising and promotions money should go? What kind of marketing clause been inserted in the share-swap deal? Was there an ‘advertising collaboration’ clause or a ‘joint marketing’ clause in the agreement? That will spell disaster in terms of MAS’ branding.

We often hear ad nauseam after the share swap that MAS is a premium airline. So why is this premium brand putting its hard earned millions into a team which has no significant brand value at all? Shouldn’t a premium airline sponsor a premium EPL team?

What is wrong with the Deputy CEO of MAS, Danny Yusof? Did he knock his head on the way to MAS’ office some time ago?

The exposure of MAS logo in home games at Loftus Road stadium is lower when compared to the exposure Air Asia logo will get when they go away to play other teams. This is common sense.

The EPL limits the number of live matches on TV in order to protect the stadiums’ revenue from ticket sales. Out of 380 matches in a season, the maximum number of live matches on TV is set at 138 per season. How many live matches QPR could get as compared to Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City or even Everton?

Is Azman Mokhtar, representing the biggest shareholder of MAS, really that wise? Logic says otherwise.

Not to mention the risk of QPR getting relegated this very season.

The odds on QPR to be relegated this season as placed by sports betting companies; the odds are not good

How many games from the 2nd tier Championship League have we watched from Astro or from all around the world?

Tony Fernandes said this in an interview:

Expressing all the right sentiments to soothe QPR fans’ sullen resentment over the price hikes that immediately followed May’s promotion to the Premier League, Fernandes, in an interview with the Guardian, was not all soft soap, however. He made no secret that he was motivated to buy QPR for £45m not only for the love of football, but as a sponsorship, marketing vehicle for AirAsia, where he remains a significant shareholder, and Malaysian Airlines, in which he and a partner more recently bought a 20% stake.

“Many people do not realise the power of sport to market a brand,” said Fernandes, whose Lotus Formula One team is sponsored by AirAsia, which also sponsored last year’s British Grand Prix and, for a time, Manchester United. “You can spend £40m on advertising and have nothing like the same effect. Around the world, everybody watches Premier League football.”

What happens if that ‘marketing vehicle’ has no value in terms if advertising potential? Easy for Tony to say that there is always risks when doing business. It is always easy to say that when RM18 million is not his money to begin with.

And of course, not everyone watches QPR and certainly QPR is not the team to be given priority to be shown on TV. And for what is worth, we all know QPR isn’t the first team that Tony wants. He had to settle for QPR after his foray into buying Wet Ham United did not materialise.

Malaysia's potato heads; beloved by Najib Tun Razak

If you were MAS shareholder, wouldn’t you be mad? If a minority Air Asia shareholder can get angry when Air Asia discontinued sponsoring Manchester United and parked their RM12 million into one of the smallest team in EPL, shouldn’t we, MAS’ ultimate stakeholders demand an explanation from Danny Yusof and his boss, Azman Mokhtar?

There is a serious corporate governance issue here from both MAS and Air Asia’s shareholders’ point of view; why should Air Asia and MAS direct its advertising money to AirAsia’s Group CEO and MAS’ executive director, Tony Fernandes?

But that is not all what Azman Mokhtar failed as the Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional.

In the recent spat between Tony Fernandes and Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (“MAHB”), Azman Mokhtar seemed incapable and lacking the testicular fortitude to defend MAHB.

Khazanah owns 54% of MAHB whereby the latter had given out dividends of more than RM150 million on yearly basis since 2007 and yet, Azman Mokhtar seemed to cower in fear over someone who owns only 20% of MAS.


Dividend history of MAHB

To be continued..

21 thoughts on “Azman Mokhtar Must Really Go (Part 2)

  1. Salam Bro,

    “The three newcomers to the division – QPR, Norwich and Swansea – are likely to earn a little more combined for their shirt deals (£3.75m) than the three relegated clubs, West Ham, Birmingham and Blackpool (£2.8m together), but QPR’s situation has yet to be finalised after the change of ownership.

    QPR’s new majority owner Tony Fernandes has said sponsorship ‘isn’t a top priority’ but the club are looking for a replacement for Gulf Air, who paid £2.3m to be sponsors in the Championship last season. Fernandes says his airline AirAsia will ‘come on board’ if another sponsor isn’t found. The value is not expected to dip and may actually increase.”

    Key words, “are likely to earn a little more combined for their shirt deals (£3.75m)” and “Fernandes says his airline AirAsia will ‘come on board’ if another sponsor isn’t found.”

    One can draw any amount of conclusion from that.


  2. Khazanah is so pathetic. We need a more capable person to helm Khazanah to bring it to greater heights. Agree that Azman Mokhtar should go a.s.a.p. If Hassan Merican was forced to go when he was performing well.. why is Azman Mokhtar still around?

    The latest AA spate with MAHB is another proof that AM sucks. Dah kena blackmail dengan TF ke dia ni? Macam takde balls nak face TF.


  3. Maybe Malaysia needs that type of a personality the likes of “J. Edgar Hoover” to keep every politicians and their appointed sub’s to keep them on their toes. Sudah terang lagi mau bersuluh ,pakai lampu spotlight stadium kah wei? Yet the government of the of the day wishes everyone to look one way, their way! I am not an opposition fan, but I will call a spade when I sees one, not a sudu , definitely a mangkuk hayun when I’m blurr! What say ya mate?


  4. i’m still thinking that MAS-AirAsia swap is to let Tony let go the Team Lotus brand….. this two is almost happened at the same time… When Tony agree not to continue Team Lotus, he got MAS….


  5. JMD,

    Saya tak pandai nak berhujah tentang teknikaliti penjualan saham MAS-AA dan pelaburan membeli kelab bola. Ilmu saya tidak sampai kesitu.
    Cuma yang saya tau hakikatnya AA dipunyai beberapa nama terhormat.
    Kesimpulannya mereka berleluasa membuat silap mata untuk menipu rakyat.

    Dalam PAU 2011 yang lepas , Presidennya bermerah muka dan bertegang leher menegaskan untuk memperjuang agenda Melayu. Dahulukan rakyat kata beliau.Tapi pada masa yang sama dibawah hidung beliau orang-orang UMNO,Menteri-Menteri,dan mereka-mereka yang ada pertalian keluarga dan persahabatan dengan orang-orang yang memegang kuasa sibuk membolot kekayaan negara.

    Usahlah JMD penatkan otak menganalisa kelicikan orang-orang seperti Azman Khazanah ini memutar belitkan keadaan.Mereka ini mempunyai moto hidup ‘kaup seberapa banyak yang boleh’. Munkinkah mereka berfikir BN tidak akan memerintah lagi selepas PRU13. Oleh itu ambil peluang selagi boleh.

    Selagi pemimpin UMNO-BN masih dibuai mimpi disiang hari, cakap tak serupa bikin, tidak kembali kepada jalan yang dituntut Allah swt maka selagi itulah mereka akan lupa diri. Sepertimana banjir mengejut yang berlaku di Kajang semasa PAU berlangsong maka begitulah caranya permaidani yang dipijak akan disentap daripada kaki mereka tanpa disedari.

    Rakyat, bersedialah menerima sesuatu yang diluar jangka kerana hakikatnya kita jua yang akan pikul beban. Hanya Allah yang Maha Mengetahui.


  6. Mole mentioned blogs talking about Bashir’s potential sacking. Sad to hear that. I had the privilege of having lunch with him on two occasions (with otherslah, I am not that privileged), and Bashir was both a gentleman and a person who knows what the heck he is doing.


  7. i am very frustrated with the senior leadership in the government for letting tax payers’ money to be wasted just like that. Azman Mokhtar need to come out to clarify the whole sponsorship deal to the rakyat. And who is Rashdan aka Danny? What is his track record. I don’t see any milestone achievement from this guy. he was just a mediocre risk advisory consultant and financial auditor. He has no business track record yet the Government let this young fella to run national investment fund. PM Najib you must clarify all this? Or you just lost another important vote.


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  9. Salam Tuan JBH

    About 600 years ago, Ibn Khaldun (IK) published a monumental thesis (book) on the rise and fall of Islamic empires. The book is called Kitab al Ibar (Book of Lessons). IK’s work caught the attention of many western scholars. One of them was Franz Rosenthal who translated the book way back in 1958.

    In the main section of the book — called the Mukadimah — IK’s work pinned the main cause of the fall of Islamic empires to the lack of legitimacy of the rulers to rule, in the eyes of the citizens. IK’s work clearly explains the fall and the demise of the Umayad, the Abbasid and the Ottoman dynasties.

    Here is a bit of history. The form of government established by Nabi Muhamad SAW and upon his wafat, by the Khalifahs ar-Rashidin was based on total support of the people via a process called bai’ah. A shura (council) was also established to assist the Khalifah in the administration of the Islamic nation. In the eyes of the citizens, the Khalifah, and assisted by members of the shura, had complete legitimacy to be their ruler and leaders respectively. In turn, they provided their absolute support to the government of the day, ever willing to support the government’s programs, its activities, pay taxes and willingly do the things considered befitting their responsibilities as model citizens of the nation.

    This notion of legitimacy, which had been instrumental in enabling the nascent Islamic nation to overcome all adversaries and succeed against all odds, was changed forever by Muslim rulers upon the death of Saidina Ali (RAH).

    Umayah usurped the powers of government upon Saidina Ali’s death. He also moved the seat of government away from the then administration capital in Madinah, to Baghdad. Although this action by Umayah irked the Companions (of our Prophets PBUH) who had struggled with Rasullah to establish the ISLAMIC faith and its government, they tolerated him in the interest of maintaining peace in the then fledgling Islamic world. However this tacit support of the community of pioneers changed into open revolt when Umayah broke from the tradition of the bai’ah and appointed his own son to succeed him.

    The revolts in Madinah and other places were put down mercilessly. From then on, only sons of rulers succeeded the khalifahs upon their deaths. The vital element of legitimacy was lost forever. The people were ruled by sheer authority of the government over its Muslim population. At some point in their history, mercenary palace guards were employed to protect the rulers. They no longer trust their own subjects!!.

    Eventually the Umayah dynasty perished at the hands of the Abbasids. Although they promised reforms, they too did not regain the legitimacy to rule, and continued the practice of making the position of khlifah a family affair. In fact the the term khalifah should not have been used at all.

    The Abasids were in turn defeated by the Turks, who established the Ottoman empire. Again the succession to the position of Sultan was based on family ties. Basically to be a Sultan one has to be the son of the immediate past Sultan.

    History taught us that the Ottoman empire was eventually weak as the people did not feel the have the legitimacy to rule over them. Not only was the empire defeated at the end of WW1, the muslim world was also utterly humiliated. The western powers namely Great Britain, France, Italy, etc., carved various parts of the empire to be turned into their colonies.

    Therefore the issue facing the BN/UMNO government is WHY allow these shenanigans by the Khazanah to debase the legitimacy of the Najib Administration, in the eyes of the VOTERS, to continue to rule our nation.

    Ever since Najib took over from slumberjack, his administration had been dogged by scandals, reports of financial mismanagement (as the MAS Air Asia saga shows) and other events that only diminish the TRUST and sense of LEGITIMACY the people have in the government.

    Please learn from history. Every single event that causes disquiet among the citizens need to handled decisively and timely. Else the legitimacy will slowly but surely diminish into negatives.

    Yes of course — these events will somehow die down. Just consider the events engulfing the role (or lack of it) of the Securities Commission. Just because the media and blogs no longer discuss the ECM Libra, the Sime Darby’s colossal losses from the Middle East, its purchase of E&O, etc, etc, DID NOT MEAN THAT the rakyat are not asking — Can we TRUST the BN/UMNO to lead us for the next 100 to 150 years?

    It would take this long to develop and establish the Malaysian civilization. If BN/UMNO is not interested in the long term, we the rakyat would be most interested to make the necessary change in the short term – the next general election. The ball in in your court, Mr. Prime Minister.

    Thank you and may Allah bless Malaysia.


  10. We can assume and conclude anythings. I believed that these personalities are not that totally independent in their coporate manuveurs. As far as Malaysia coporate scene is concerned, there are always unseen hands from the powers that be in these sort of scenarios. There are more than meet the eyes.


  11. Looks like corporate governance and accountability are no longer applicable in Malaysia..It’s all about plundering the nation’s coffer the “legit” way under the pretext of strategic business deals, progressive business ventures and so on…an it happened right under the noses of those entrusted to safeguard our wealth..or worst yet, with theor blessings…this country has really gone to the dogs, in every aspects..sigh….


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  13. Azman Mokhtar & Tony Fernandes in cohort to oust Tan Sri Bashir from cash rich MAHB…AMOK is a liability now…..he leads the group to chop all the pioneer in Khazanah…


  14. U shud drive taxi to get the experience… then u all can get MD of Khazanah…… jaws berkeliaran bila kapal pecah….. if like that better shutdown MAS and replaced with Air-Asia.


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