Sunday, 7 August 2011

Government allows AirAsia and MAS 'merger' ..

Tony Fernandes has contrived  to become the single biggest shareholder of arch rival Malaysia Airlines - and all with the blessings of the Malaysian Government.  

Yes, it's too silly - and fishy - to be true, but it's a done deal. According to 'The Star Online": "Sources said the deal, which was struck last week after negotiations over the past year, became urgent after MAS' poor showing in the last two quarters." It would appear that now AirAsia, which has been known to have the special “abilities” to owe airport taxes to the tune of more than RM125 million since it inception until 2010, has been made out to look like a white knight for MAS. Please wake up, Malaysia!

This is eerily similar to how Fernandes and ex-political allies of Dr Maharthir came to own AirAsia, paying just a Dollar for the privilege.  Is this history repeating? A perfectly good airline allowed to fall into disarray, or made to appear as if it is in trouble, and snapped up for nix courtesy of the same incumbent players. As we pointed out once before, most of AirAsia's Board of Directors are retired politicians, all allies of one Dr Maharthir. The rule of thumb must be, get out of politics and get into a dirty airline. 

AirAsia's original dirty deal  HERE

And what are those same politicians cooking up this time? Only time will tell. You certainly wouldn't see an anticompetitive deal like this approved in any civilised country, then this is Malaysia. Even the one-eyed news portal and Government mouthpiece, The Star Online, wrote: "Industry players expressed surprise at the deal because of past animosity between the management of the two airlines. Those who were aware of the negotiations were also surprised at the speed at which it was concluded. Fernandes declined to comment when asked about the deal."  Surprise, surprise.

As one blogger wrote: " This 'share swap deal' is a joke. THE PERTINENT QUESTION NOW: IS AIRASIA BAILING OUT MAS OR MAS HAS BEEN USED AS A VEHICLE TO BAIL OUT AIRASIA? AirAsia buys MAS’ RM1.60/share using their own money but Khazanah buys AA’s RM3.95/share thru taxpayers’ money? In quantum, we pay more to get some part of AA while AA pay less to get ownership in national carrier?" And AirAsia laugh all the way to the bank.

Meet AirAsia's Politicians!


Independent Non Executive Director
*Retired '08

Non Executive Director

Independent Non Executive Director

Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
Adviser & Mentor - Honorary

Fernandes said, "I had this desire to start an airline and I thought a low-fare airline would work very well in Malaysia. So I went around and started putting the plans together. I roped in three partners — Datuk Pahamin, Aziz and Kamarudin, for starters. Datuk Pahamin helped arrange a meeting with then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad.
"Fernandes pilots AirAsia to greater heights." Kang Siew Li, New Straits Times, Saturday, December 20, 2003

He said it was easy for people to criticise the Government and say they were not given equal opportunities. "Let me tell you that I am living proof of someone who had no political backing. Through sheer hard work and determination, which every one of us is capable of, we can succeed.
Faridah Begum - The Star, March 07, 2008

Air Asia seems to be blessed with what could only be described as a divine almost heavenly relationship with politicians. Why??

After brokering the introduction between Mahathir and Tony Fernandes, political heavyweight Pahamin beat a hasty retreat from official politics. He immediately reemerged as the Non-Executive Chairman of Air Asia - which also happened to be the airline Malaysia's PM sold them for $1.

Amazing. An honest Malaysian Member of Parliament 

Before you make your next AirAsia online booking, please be sure to read the article HERE and HERE by Wee Choo Keong, one of the very, very few Malaysian Members of Parliament to question the AirAsia deals over the years - actually he goes them boots and all. It is an eye opener and you owe it to yourself to read this blog post. It's almost as good as or Not AirAsia online booking website.

AirAsia's dirty deal  HERE 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

AirAsia Racist Slurs Backfire ...

"We're Asians, not a bunch of white 
guys running the airlines"

In a classic piece of chutzpah, AirAsia's CEO attacked Asian carrier Tiger Airways in a Bangkok Post interview over a senior hire, saying he was skeptical over Westerners running any Asia-based businesses. Tony Fernandes criticised Tiger, and parent Singapore Airlines, as a result of their employing a Caucasian, saying: "We're Asians, not a bunch of white guys running the airlines." Fernandes skipped one important point ...

But ... a white guy created AirAsia 

Tony is forgetting that an Irishman, Connor McCarthy, ex-head of Ryanair, is the undisputed brains behind AirAsia. Indeed, this article here credits Connor McCarthy as being AirAsia's "co-founder' .  Yes, it was Connor whom hatched the scheme of AirAsia's short-haul model and accordingly the birth of the cut-price industry, wait for it, across Asia:  "After all, the long-haul operation was his [Fernandes'] original plan until former Ryanair executive Conor McCarthy, who became an AirAsia investor, persuaded him that the short-haul market had better prospects."

All this from a white man completely unfamiliar with Asia, is it possible? Indeed another article here continues: "AirAsia co-founder and former Ryanair executive Conor McCarthy "tore it to pieces", says Fernandes, and instead they drafted the short-haul no-frills business plan that McCarthy ended up investing in." For once, it appears as if Tony is being honest. It wasn't Fernandes, with zero experience in running an airline, but the ex-Ryanair boss, McCarthy, who truly launched AirAsia.

Most recently, Fernandes followed this white faces idiocy with more puerile stirring: "Funny how SIA keeps putting foreigners in charge at their LCC (low cost carrier). Don't they have faith in Singaporeans. I do. My Commercial Head is a Singapore. Odd company. If I were a Singaporean, I would really be upset with SIA." People in glass houses, Tony, they shouldn't throw stones. Tiger Airways, headed by British Tony Davis, has naturally expressed disappointment over Fernandes' racist remarks in recent times. Maybe he can call Connor McCarthy for some colonial sympathy. Meanwhile, Fernandes is still basking in the false glory of having created AirAsia.

Tony, we'd imagine that the Singaporeans would be less affronted by their hugely successful national carrier employing a white face, than the outrageous scam that was perpetrated upon the Malaysian taxpayer when you and Connor McCarthy - and a gaggle of senior government ministers - inherited AirAsia for the princely sum of sixty cents. Tsk tsk, Tony - up to your old tricks again, hey?  Yes, in case you missed the 'Sedition Edition' expose, Dr Mahathir was very good to his political allies. Think about this before making your next AirAsia online booking.

Read the infamous AirAsia 
Malaysian Government rort report HERE