AIRASIA’s Datuk Tony Fernandes is getting funnier by the day, since the all too powerful 4th floor started to crumble following the March 8 election results.
The blue-eyed boy who successfully demoted Malaysian Airlines to become the national step-child through his backdoor connections and ‘strategic offerings’, is now trying to be the national Clown.
From recent statements, the CHEAP-airlines’ CEO also seems keen to assume the posts of Finance Minister and Transport Minister.
(Wonder why the 4th floor boys didn’t nominate the CEO as a candidate in the last elections as it would have been easier for them to ‘sell’ the entire aviation industry to this new ‘Transport Minister’).
Mr.Fernandes’ outburst against MAS’ Managing Director / Ceo Datuk Seri Idris Jala is something many in the industry have been waiting for as the heat was turned on him.
While the CHEAP airlines appeared to be doing everything right and was soaring to unbelievable heights in the last four years, the ACTUAL picture came to light recently.
How much they actually owe MAS and Penerbangan Malaysia is anybody’s guess but it was made public in Parliament last week that AIRASIA has NOT PAID more FIVE MILLION RINGGIT to Malaysia Airports Berhad alone.
This HUTANG is despite them enjoying initial zero airport tax and later only paying a pittance due to the interference from the ‘high n mighty’.
AIRASIA, it was reliably learned, actually owes the Government of Malaysia HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS in all sorts of dues and yet is putting up a brave face to question MAS’ right to hold an attractive ticket ‘SALE’.
The CHEAP airline is also, without any SHAME, demanding the specific subsidies enjoyed by MAS.
The subsidies enjoyed by MAS are mainly for the Rural Air Services (RAS) in Sabah and Sarawak.
The CHEAP airlines had its eyes set on these subsidies from day one and worked their way through with the help of “Mr.Qali’ to grab the entire RAS services from MAS.
MAS had NEVER wanted to give-away the RAS under the its Idris-initiated Business Turnaround Plan but the guys at the helm of the CHEAP airlines wanted the RAS subsidies so badly that they got it thru FAX.
They took all the Twin-Otter and Fokker aircrafts from Penerbangan Malaysia (for free I guess), messed up the lives of hundreds (if not thousands) of MAS staff including long-serving pilots, infuriated the rural folks in Sabah/Sarawak by practically NOT FLYING to minimize costs and finally dumped the RAS after obtaining the much waited LONG-HAUL license.
How much of the million of ringgit in subsidies went into their pocket is another matter which is yet to be audited.
FAX still owes thousands of ringgit to many poor ground-handlers in remote airstrips and travel agents in Sabah and Sarawak.
The unprecedented full-backing by the 4th floor boys and one Mr.Qali (who happens to sit as the chairman and in direct control of about 25 % stake in Fernandes’ pie) even saw the CHEAP airlines blowing the candles on MAS’ cake.
International routes that were negotiated for MAS, on a Govt to Govt basis, were handed over to the CHEAP airlines on a silver platter. – and Idris didn’t object much as he knew exactly what and WHO he was up against.
MAS didn’t object or protest on a whole lists of other discrepancies and ‘jokes’ in the industry as the previous Transport Minister acted more like the chief liaison officer for the CHEAP airlines.
We can’t blame the former Minister though, as he was just PLAYING SAFE, apart from his numerous golf outings on Singapore’s Sentosa.
Mr.Fernandes, try settling whatever you guys owe to the poor rural guys who assisted FAX during your days in the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak before calling on Idris for a debate.
Malu lah brother!
(My dear Mr/Madam/Miss Parliamentarians! Please ask the Government to spell out in detail how much the CHEAP airlines actually owe us and what kind of exemptions have they been enjoying under the present Government, and WHY?)
p/s Wondering how the Rembau Clown is going to respond ….
EVERYTHING CAN FLY NOW, if you can't GO FLY KITES!
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