Isnin, 14 Mac 2011
Who is behind Air Asia ?? Daim Zainuddin..??
The real shareholder of Airasia is Daim Zainuddin. This was confirmed by May Quah of Khazanah during one of the side meetings after the Board meeting of AIC's subsidiary where Khazanah is a major shareholder. As we all know the gomen (the local slang for govt) bailed out MAS thru Khazanah hence making the latter the majority shareholder.
May also intimate that her CEO who was recently made a Tan Sri and received a third term in office used to work late till midnite. I told her in front of everyone that her infamous CEO is seen everyday at Austin Chase in Bangsar Shopping Centre at 5pm with a group of new and upcoming yuppies malays. They are there till quite late.
He is a known Daim's inner circle kaki. BTW, MAS surrendered the lucrative routes of Macau and Shenzen to Airasia. Please read the article published in the Star yesterday 1st May 2010 by MAS CEO Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin. It makes interesting reading.
Kawan-kawan, please fasten your seat belts now. I thought that I knew something about what is really going on in the administration of Abdullah Badawi. Today I found out I have not even scratched the surface. The following is panas-panas news. You may want to hit the ejection button (not yours but theirs) after reading this.
Firstly, the shareholders and/or stakeholders of Air Asia (directly, indirectly, through proxies, etc.) include Kamaluddin bin Abdullah Badawi, Kalimullah Maseerul Hassan (also into Tune Hotels), Khairy Jamaluddin, Tony Fernandez, etc.
We all know the story of Air Asia . Well, we all thought it was a rags to riches story. It is actually a story about riches. The rags part is actually very hazy.
When MAS entered into a phase of 'restructuring' about three years ago, Air Asia , through Tony Fernandez, struck fast and furious.
Before we go further, you may want to ask why did MAS have to suffer yet another 'restructuring'? That is a story by itself for another day but just bear in mind that Badawi's brother, Ibrahim, is the owner of the catering company (Skychef?) that used to supply mineral water at RM35 a case to MAS. With that kind of pricing, surely MAS would need 'restructuring'.
Anyway, Air Asia stepped in and pushed the Gomen for a 'rationalisation' of the domestic air routes in Malaysia . Air Asia asked to be given MAS' Sabah and Sarawak routes. MAS could keep flying in Semenanjung, they said. Despite objections by MAS, Air Asia was granted its wish. But the wish did not just happen. Zaki, a fourth floor boy at the PM's office, helped Air Asia make its wish come true.
Once MAS lost its Sabah and Sarawak routes to Air Asia , there was a staff redundancy. So MAS had to organise a VSS. MAS demanded that since Air Asia was taking over their Sabah and Sarawak routes it would make some of their staff redundant so Air Asia should pay MAS some compensation.
Everyone (MAS, Gomen and even Air Asia ) agreed that compensation was payable to MAS. But Air Asia would not pay anything. Finally, the Gomen (err that means you and me lah, Encik Taxpayer) paid the compensation to MAS, which MAS promptly used in one of the most expensive VSS payments in our history.
If your blood is starting to boil, stop reading and better cool off because it does not get better. Then, within one year, Air Asia realised that the Sabah and Sarawak routes were not profitable. They never were. MAS was performing national service in Sabah and Sarawak . Flying chickens and goats is not a money-making venture.
No problem. Air Asia made another wish. They told the Gomen, we have to return these air routes back to MAS. Again MAS objected. Again overruled. Not relevant.
Then came the handing over ceremony of the air routes and the airplanes. When they took over the Sabah/Sarawak routes, Air Asia had 'acquired' seven airplanes from MAS in perfect working condition. (MAS does have one of the best safety records in the world.) However, when Air Asia 'returned' the planes to MAS, only one was left in working condition. The other six planes were grounded, not fit for flying and could not fly. In actual fact, Air Asia was cannibalising parts from the six planes to keep the seventh one flying. Again MAS objected. Again overruled. Not relevant. It eventually cost MAS in excess of RM50 million to make the planes flyable again. This was a direct subsidy to 'rags to riches' Air Asia 's profits.
Then Air Asia started eyeing the lucrative KL-Singapore routes. Tighten your seat belts. This one will really jolt. But they went about it the roundabout way. They said they wanted to go international. They did (some) but international routes are tough. No Zaki, Badawi, Khairy, Kalimullah or Kamaluddin to make your wishes come true.
But the KL-Singapore sector was generating RM40 million in PROFITS to MAS. This was the plum in the pudding. Air Asia wanted it badly. So they made another wish. It came true. This is how they did it. Air Asia 's bid to break into the KL-Singapore sector was first discussed in Cabinet when Badawi was on holiday overseas. Najib chaired the meeting and Air Asia 's application was rejected.
The application was rejected for two main reasons:
i. By 2009 the whole of ASEAN becomes open sky anyway. ASEAN airlines can fly to all ASEAN capitals without restrictions. So why open up KL-Singapore in double quick time?
ii. If budget flights are allowed between KL-Singapore, KLIA will die an unnatural death. KLIA will become a feeder airport for Singapore 's Changi. People will fly from KL to Singapore and then fly off from Singapore to the rest of the world. MAS will then die a natural death. So the request was declined.
Then Pak-LAH came back from his travels and asked Tengku Adnan the Minister of Tourism to prepare a paper on tourism, linking MAS, Air Asia , SIA, etc., to tourist arrivals. At the next Cabinet meeting chaired by Badawi, he asked Tengku Adnan to present the 'Cabinet paper'.
Insiders say that the paper was an 'out of Agenda' item - meaning it surprised everyone, but the dunggus approved it nonetheless. Air Asia got its wish again. Tengku Adnan also secured his Putrajaya seat.
Now here is the killer. Soon after Air Asia started flying the KL-Singapore sector, they started giving away 300,000 free tickets, 5 sen tickets and all the other gimmicks. Singapore is believed to be subsidising Air Asia for all these expensive gimmicks.
For SIA, losing RM40 million (S$17 million) profit from the KL-Singapore sector is chicken feed. Air Asia is feeding thousands of transit passengers from KL to Changi . Air Asia is providing RM19 bus rides from KL to KLIA. From KLIA, passengers fly almost free to Changi. From Changi the passengers can connect to the world.
Now, Air Asia is making another wish - they want to fly direct from Kuching, KK, Penang , Alor Setar, Kota Bharu, etc., to Changi. They will earn even more 'subsidies' from Singapore . KLIA will drop dead later, MAS will die first.
This is how we go from 'rags to riches'. And we all thought Tony Fernandez was such a great guy too. All the shareholders and/or stakeholders of Air Asia (directly, indirectly, through proxies, etc.) include Kamaluddin bin Abdullah Badawi, Kalimullah Maseerul Hassan (also into Tune Hotels), Khairy Jamaluddin, Tony Fernandez, etc…all of them are great!
Yes, we believe in open skies, competition and all that. But friends, fellow Malaysians, this was the ex- PM, his son, his S-I-L and his cronies lah. How can they sell out their own country? But this is what they had done.
By Little Bird