To put things simple enough, RM18 million of MAS’ very important, very hard earned cash was given to another company belonged to one of its directors. Basically, a director of MAS, Tony Fernandes got RM18 million given to his other company – a football team, Queens Park Rangers (QPR).
There is a massive conflict of interest there. Worse, the transaction was transacted like a kneejerk reaction. Like someone had jerk the leash of owners of MAS and bamboozled them into agreeing to give their money to another director.
Was there a tender committee being called before the transaction was approved? Which other teams were selected in the final leg of the tender procedures? Were the teams in the Spanish Primera Liga or the Italian Serie A taken into consideration as well? We can bet there were none. Is this how a premier airline should have used its advertising money?
Right after Christmas, QPR is now just 3 points above the relegation zone. From 18 games played, they could just secure 17 points. That is less than a point for each game. If this continues, they will get less than 40 points by the end of the season. In a season where 38 games are played, the 40 point mark is the benchmark in order to survive the Premier League. If this hold true, the punters were correct in saying that QPR has 1 in 4 chance to be relegated by the end of the season.
Maybe this would be a bad omen. Just like how MAS is fighting for its survival, QPR will be fighting most in the relegation zone for the rest of the season. But unlike QPR, the management of MAS is consciously mismanaging the company towards destruction.
Conflicts of interests?
Bad advertising deals?
Azman Mokhtar, Danny Yusof and Tony Fernandes are above the petty rules and regulations! Are they? Maybe the government should give Danny a Tan Sri-ship too!
We can safely deduce that this RM18 million advertising deal is to help Danny’s partner in crime fleecing money from a GLC at the most minimum hassle and purview.
You might think RM18million is a small amount. Try counting 1 to 18,000,000 and get back to me when you’re done.
Now how about the breach in anti-trust laws? When the share-swap agreement was inked in early August, the millionaire brother of the Prime Minister, Nazir Razak had said:
“We will be looking at all the anti-trust provisions in all the markets the three global airlines operate in.”
MAS and AirAsia even said in their statements to Bursa Malaysia ‘that the collaboration agreement would only be committed upon once an anti-trust analysis had been completed and was in compliance with the applicable laws with regards to anti-trust.’
But what happened soon after was anything but being compliant to the anti-trust laws. The routes to KL – Bandung and KL – Sandakan were taken off without so much of a warning; leaving AirAsia as the sole service provider of the routes.
There aren’t any other foreign flights to ply this route for customers to choose from too.
When MAS was still plying this route, the average ticket price of AirAsia ticket to Bandung from Kuala Lumpur was around RM300 to RM400 and could be as high as RM800 if you had bought them a few days before the departure date.
But currently, even at two weeks before the date, AirAsia is selling them at more than RM1,000 each! It was RM800 if you buy slightly earlier than that.
This is in serious breach of anti-competitive laws.
Customers are at the mercy Air Asia.
Nazir Razak made to look like a buffoon by this AirAsia – MAS swap. By issuing statements when he is not even privy to the operational plans of both companies, he probably won’t deny that he has become a buffoon.
The question now is, what will Azman Mokhtar do?
Tony Fernandes made it clear that he does not give a damn about what the customers think or feel. In one episode, when had to deal with the newly revised airport tax, Tony Fernandes responded via twitter to many of the complaints by his customers with:
“It’s a free world. If you don’t want to fly and done (sic) like us you don’t. We have to use malaysian airports. That’s the difference”.
The blog journalist who blogged about this found his tweet ‘rather unbecoming, if not somewhat churlish’.
Well it seems now, passengers going to Bandung have no choice but to pay the exorbitant ticket prices.
Now everyone can fly? I don’t think so.
Rumours has it that MAS will also terminate their Haji Charter services to Jeddah in their new business plan which by the way are planned by their board of executive directors. Incidentally, two of these directors are the owners of Air Asia. So which airline will be given this concession in the future?
Anyway, Tony Fernandes had the cheek to run a guerilla type campaign against Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad regarding the airport tax when he himself is squeezing the public. One just have to remember the inability of Azman Mokhtar in trying to get Tony to pay MAHB over the millions of ringgit in airport tax collected by AirAsia.
Only in 2010 was the sum finally paid up; not totally, and getting further discount too.
Tony is fighting for the rakyat? Tony is robbing the rakyat that’s more like it. How much does a maggi mee costs in an AirAsia flight? Very expensive.
Can we bring our own food to eat in the flight if we don’t want to pay those extremely pricey food?
Of course we cannot do that.
Do you know that flights to Jakarta via KLM is much more cheaper than AirAsia’s own flights? KLM provides food and in flight entertainment too. With all those incidental fees here and there, Tony Fernandes hoodwinked Malaysians into believing that he provides cheap flights.
Coupled with very lousy service right from the booking department all the way to the quality of its aircraft, AirAsia is a behemoth of which crooks are hiding behind it.
Tony went overboard with his campaign against the MAHB when he urged the public to stand up for the ‘unfair’ airport tax hike when in fact, airport tax had not been increased for more than a dozen of years.
He proceeded in buying full page newspaper advertisement in The Star vilifying MAHB to the extent of directing AirAsia staff to wear protest badges and putting up anti-MAHB posters all over MAHB’s airports!
Surely as the owners of the airports, MAHB has the rights to remove all those illegal and provocative posters. But when MAHB did exactly that, Tony went berserk and publicly slam them for harassing his staff!
“Malaysian airport staff tearing down our posters and taking away airport passes of our staff. And using intimidation. Can someone tell them this is Malaysia and not a police state.”
This is a typical opposition mentality whereby the main villain is antagonising and provoking the establishment and then claiming to be the victim. When you are acting like gangsters, of course someone will have to act against you.
And to think that Tony received the Asian Corporate Director Recognition Award by Corporate Governance Asia last July for his ‘contributions in enhancing business ethics, transparency and corporate social responsibility on the foundation of his success in running the airline business. In addition to these selection criteria, the award also recognizes Tony’s efforts in helping to raise the standards of corporate governance practice in Malaysia’.
Luckily the MD of MAHB, Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad stood his ground and remained a gentleman when facing this petulant CEO of a company which he had gave so many special privileges all these years.
Thomas Jefferson had said – “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”
While Bashir Ahmad showed character and resoluteness, finesse is non existent in Tony Fernandes. At the same time, something much worse is plaguing Khazanah’s top management; their lack of accountability.
If Azman Mokhtar couldn’t curtail Danny Yusof from agreeing to that RM18 million deal, what makes you think his other investment decisions will be sound?
The deal was mired with blatant conflict of interests which is nakedly open for the public to see and yet the main shareholder of MAS is not doing anything about it. In fact, they are actively supporting this mistake!
The mismanagement and systematic destruction of MAS, the arrogance of the conniving Tony Fernandes, supported by inaction of Khazanah and their investment blunders will certainly not look good on the Prime Minister’s reputation.
But nobody seems to be awake at the moment. Everyone is being bigheaded and high and mighty yet nobody wants to be accountable.
Just like the arrogant CEO of AirAsia X, whom after been queried in twitter over the RM250 million subsidy given to them, had lashed out at people who questioned him as not having the necessary intellectual capacity.
He invited people to deal with him directly through email but then quickly dismissed any queries behind the Auditor General’s report. Nearly 2 months has passed but until this day, I have not received any explanation of the RM250 million subsidy from him.
Hot air is everywhere even during this rainy season but the government is too lethargic to take action.