“Tony, Din, no grandstanding!”

“No grandstanding!”. We were told that was what been told to AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes and ED Kamaruddin Meranun when they wanted to come into Malaysia Airlines.

And yet, today it has been announced that Malaysia Airlines is the major sponsor for Fernandes’s recently acquired Queens Park Rangers.

Published: Monday September 12, 2011 MYT 7:45:00 PM
Updated: Monday September 12, 2011 MYT 8:10:05 PM

MAS, Air Asia in QPR jersey deal

Both signed a two-year sponsorship on Monday allowing the MAS logo to adorn the QPR jersey on home games while the AirAsia logo will be used on the team’s away games, according to the QPR website.

The new blue-striped jersey with the MAS logo will be worn for the first time in QPR’s home game against Newscatle at Loftus Road later on Monday.

“This sponsorship is the first major initiative of our new brand and marketing strategy, that would see important advertising money spent on boosting our top line.

“This is a key component in our drive to regain global market share, profitability and pride for the people of MAS,” said MAS executive director Mohammed Rashdan Yusof.

Air Asia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes recently acquired a 66 per cent stake in QPR. Fernandes also sits on the MAS board following a MAS-Air Asia share swap on Aug 9.

*************

The sponsorship deal was said to be at GBP 10 million.

The amount has yet to be confirmed but regardless, it shows that Fernandes did not heed the ‘gentlemens’ agreement he had with Khazanah Holdings Bhd. Managing Director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar when they sat down to deal on the ‘share swap’.

How this sponsorship will benefit Malaysia Airlines is unsure. QPR isn’t the blue chip team of the Barclays EPL. In fact, it is at a lower rung of the league. There are many other ways of getting much better attention, if advertising is Malaysia Airlines objective to sponsor QPR.

BPL table as of Sunday 11 Sept 2011

We have yet to see what’s the beef for Malaysia Airlines in this lop-sided share-swap deal, which was brokered by none other than CIMB.

We believed that Fernades never wanted to use AirAsia’s monies to this project. In fact, probably he had Malaysia Airlines insight to be parasited when he went into buying QPR. The Guardian had this story almost four weeks ago.

QPR’s Tony Fernandes looking to build bridges – as well as his fortune

The new owner has made no secret that he bought QPR not only for the love of football but as a sponsorship vehicle

QPR owner Tony Fernandes

The Queens Park Rangers owner, Tony Fernandes, is optimistic about the future of the Premier League club. Photograph: Adam Holt/Action Images

Tony Fernandes said with a little understatement on becoming Queens Park Rangers’ majority owner that he has “a communicative style”, and supporters will justifiably expect their club to be more approachable now, after the high-handedness of the Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore roadshow. Fernandes, who, with three partners, built AirAsia from a loss-making company with two planes to Malaysia’s version of EasyJet, has that modern businessman’s touch of talking to people and an appreciation of publicity, for himself – complete with famous Twitter account – and for his businesses.

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.”

Through building up AirAsia, which has brought him decoration in several countries including a CBE here, his Formula One escapades and steady profile raising, Fernandes has become a public figure, whose career and success story have been serially told. Born in Kuala Lumpur, where he played the piano at the tupperware parties and conventions that made his mother’s fortune, he was educated in England, at the Epsom College boarding school, then the London School of Economics.

He qualified as an accountant and worked in the music industry for 14 years, including for Time Warner. He did not agree with the AOL merger in 2000, and left the company to do the deal that made his real fortune – buying the debt-laden AirAsia, with three partners, for a token one Malaysian ringgit in 2001.

He said he mortgaged his home and had just £250,000 to invest initially, but he and the partners reshaped AirAsia into a low-cost airline flying, according to its most recent annual report, 18 million passengers to 65 cities in Asia and around the world, turning over £790m and making a pre-tax profit of £200m. Tune Air, the company Fernandes and his partners formed to buy AirAsia, still owns 26%, and he said he sold shares in the airline to raise the cash to buy into QPR. Kamarudin Meranun, a co-investor, who will join the QPR board, is a longstanding Malaysian partner with Fernandes.

*****************

Most important fact is that let us not forget that why and how the share swap deal happened in the first place, Fernandes and Din were brought into Malaysia Airlines and previous CEO tengku Dato’ Azmil Zahiruddin was summarily sacked because Malaysia Airlines was ‘highly unprofitable and in dire state of cash’. Isn’t this high value sponsorship is a quick way of Fernandes and Din parasiting on Malaysia Airlines’ cash position for their own personal benefit?

The “Thirteen Million Ringgit Question” now is, will Malaysia Airlines be parasited to sponsor Fernandes’s Formula 1 team, again for “advertising” purpose? Then again, the Formula 1 commands a wider viewer market as compared to BPL.

There are other better ways of realising the ‘advertising’ objective, without bleeding cash from the company. We were told that during Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli’s stewardship, Malaysia Airlines bought a building near South Kensington for their London office. The building also serve as an advertising platform as it sits on a major route (A4 westwards) from Central London to London Heathrow, Greater London’s premier five-terminal international airport. And when the building was sold off, they actually realised a hefty profit from the capital appreciation.

We hope that the new BOD of Malaysia Airlines, particularly de facto ED Mohamed Rashdan Yusoff comes up with a very good excuse to rationalise this whats seems to be parasiting the national carrier.

Published in: on September 12, 2011 at 20:49  Comments (23)  

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23 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Before ink is put on paper to the collboration agreement and stewardship, Air Asia is fleecing MAS and MAS is demanded on to cut and chop many many routes.

    Is Khazanah trying to have BN lose the general election by allowing Tony Gambino skim off the national career?

  2. To most people, Khazanah and CIMB are scheming and fleecing the GLCs as if it is their grand fathers’ private empire. THIS is a sure formula to lose the GE 13 for BN.

    Wait and see!!

  3. Yes, another scam to make Najib looks bad.

    Wakeup Najib or you are going to retire much earlier than Bodohwi.

  4. Everything about the merger scam will soon unravel. A spineless Pee Em will make it so easy for people in the right position to cannibalize all GLCs. And now the end is near…. and soon the final curtain.

  5. His pal the Virgin Airlines man flew on a hot air balloon to get hot air for his company, but didn’t spend that much money for so-called advertisement, did he?

    And why Queen Park Rangers, not Manchester City or a London Club whose fans that can be expected to want to travel to Malaysia and destinations served by MAS & Air Aisa by these airlines?

    And when these Airlines’ logo etc are displayed on the fefootball pitch for the TV cameras to scan, are they for free? Is he and these two air lines the only shareholders of QPR such that he can do those for free?

  6. Najib losing control again.

  7. Salam BigDog,

    With ECM Libra he got kicked out
    Mas/Air Asia we start to shout

    Why QPR they ask
    The answer has come to pass

    Is the 6% telco charge a diversion
    Of the Slime Darby swashbuckling fashion

    More of the above is there yet to come
    Are the powers that be gonna be mom

    Are the rats abandoning ship
    With all the wealth they can rip

    Cos they looked at the crystal ball
    Barisan Nasional is going to lose it all

    Off they go then when the war is lost
    To lands where money is no cost

    Then you and me here we sit
    While the PR goons pay us a visit

    Thank you
    Freddie

  8. Satu bulan sudah lalu MD pun belum ada.
    Apa program untuk MAS pun masih tak da.

    Yang ada Firefly bungkus bagi laluan pada Air Asia
    Yang ada MAS berhenti terbang Surabaya, Jogjakarta, Bandung bagi laluan pada Air Asia
    Yang ada duit MAS bagi kasi QPR hanya untuk pakai di Loftus Road tapi Air Asia punya baju bagi pakai di lain-lain 21 stadium seluruh England. Game di Loftus Road kalau live pun pukul 2 pagi tak macam di Anfield, Old Trafford live prime time.

    Satu bulan sudah lalu.
    MAS kena liwat dek Air Asia

  9. QPR is Tony’s PRIVATE investment. Private means Sendiri Punya! According to media report, Tony spent about GBP35m for 66% stake in QPR. And now, MAS (GLC) and AirAsia (public-listed company) forked out GBP10mn for the jersey sponsorship. So if every 2 years, MAS/AirAsia will spend GBP10 to sponsor this shitty team, then Tony’s investment in QPR will take AT MOST 6 years to balik modal. This guy is very clever! Then can sell QPR to Sime Darby at 65% premium! haha

    But why the hell Rashdan aka Danny (double first first class honours degree in Economics from University of Cambridge), the “highly acclaimed” Executive Director failed to stop this cheeky move by Tony? In fact, he is very supportive of the deal and was PROUDLY present during the ceremony! He became “rabun” because of the AirAsia stewardess is it?

    Look at English Premier League big clubs, their owners DO NOT sponsor the team jersey, for example Arsenal (Etihad), Man United (AON), Liverpool (Standard & Poor), Chelsea (Samsung) ….. and that is totally understood. Some may want to argue what about Man City (Etihad)? C’mon Tony is NOT Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan okay…FULL STOP! If you are the owner of a company/club/brothel house and have spent millions of money on the shareholdings/shares, why do you want to invest more to sponsor the team jersey? Definitely you will get others to sponsor, and that is exactly what Tony is doing. He is using money from the poor AirAsia’s minority shareholders and MAS’ taxpayers to sponsor his own private company QPR. I hope he is not trying to siphon out money from Malaysia to UK. It’s quite NATURAL (Zarinah SC’s favourite word), sponsorship is one of the easiest ways for money laundry.

    By the way, Tan Sri Vincent Tan (Chairman of Berjaya Group) bought Cardiff City FC and guess what is the logo of the team jersey? Is it Berjaya Group? Try google “Cardiff City FC jersey 2012” and you’ll be surprised!

    p/s To Tony F, i think you should just put Rashdan/Danny’s pathetic face on QPR jersey.

  10. you give him an inch, and he will park a 747.

    It’s too late

  11. Just because MAS is a national carrier, doesnt give the govt the right to do as it pleases with MAS i.e agreeing to a deal which see Air Asia riding on the back of MAS. On the contrary it should have engaged the best negotiators around to ensure any form of business deal will benefit MAS and put MAS in an even stronger position vis a vis its competition. It is outrageous to see MAS being siphoned off to sponsor a football club jersey. Who in UK doesnt know MAS anyway. Many Brits take MAS in their travels to Australasia. Khazanah Nasional is a people ‘s trust so why dance around with these selfish profiteers?

  12. “Whether or not the Advisors were the real rulers of the Malay states, we must keep an open mind. Some may have spoken with condescending tone, some may have been more polite. Comments on history are often made by people who are emotionally-scarred, and may be biased as to how they see things, but history cannot be based on emotions – it must be based on facts.”

    Zainal Keling bodoh and you have some shit in your head about european colonisation. How they must have love it when their subjects rejected that they were colonised just like slaves denied they were ever slaves.

    This is the hisghest art of colonising when the subject do not realised they were subordinates and accept their humiliating position with excuses . If Zainal Keling and you were around during British colonisation there would never have been any independence.

    For first to fight you must realised your humiliating position. Just like PAS who did not want independence because they said malays dont even know how to make needles. Just like Mahathir who said we need chinese because the malays dont know much and so have to give all business to chinese.

    Zainal Keling bodoh to come to the conclusion that independence was independence from Malay rulers must gladdened british hearts. See we taught the natives freedom.

    This is the same self serving stance of that chinese khoo Khay Kim. He was quoted in NST the same things but he used these to justify that it was the Malay Rulers then who had the power, who had brought the chinese coolies and so the Malay cannot blame the British. So the Chinese had the right to stay in Malaya.

    This is bullshit because in the first place the chinese never wanted to stay put in jungle malaya. Secondly the chinese wanted to be british subjects so that they can migrate to england.

    So now it is very convenient for Khoo to claim the Malay rulers were at fault for bringing the indian and chinese coolies!

    To add insult to injury this chinese claim that merdeka for us was merdeka from our Rulers who were suppressive! That is why we celebrate every 31st august.

    Disband the so called Professor Council. They have shit between their ears.

    Maharajalela was hanged by the British for fighting against British advisers. So was others.

    The fact is that to colonise a country it is better through their own native chiefs. You only have to hold the balls of the native Sultan so that the rest of the populace will be obdient.

    This is the tactics in all Christian European colonisation. Obviously it succeed until scum like you were thinking are we colonised or not. WTF!

    Zainal Keling Bodoh!

    • Agree with you. And with Gilasiut below.

      The problem is so much bloody corruption in the country. So much so that not mny things appear sincere and straight any more.

      Najib must tackle this corruption by the horn. And check the huge CIMB consultancy projects and fees. He has the final say on those involving GLCs, hasn’t he?

  13. This Keling Tony Fernandes keep on tipu stupid Malays. He used malaysian taxpayers money through Tourism Ministry to put airasia names on referee shirt RM50 million.

    Now he used MAS money to advertise himself. Stupid Azman Mokhtar to believe in this indian. Stupid! Stupid plus that corrupt Nazir Razak who “brokered” it using his brother the PM.

    When will the Malays learn they are being taken for a ride. That stupid boy Danny should be whipped for losing billions.

  14. BD,

    What’s more sickening is we, the taxpayers, have been paying Danny The Prick a basic monthly salary of RM100k++, outrageous bonus, perks and EPF contribution of 18%! In fact most EDs in Khazanah are paid within that ridiculous salary range. Why are we giving him/them so many second chances? His Bina Bodoh WAU turned out to be HA-WAU after all (HAWAU is adik beradik HAPRAK), he got kicked out from Maybank, then MAS/AirAsia deal and the stupid QPR jersey sponsorship.

    Enough is enough!

    Give him another 6 months, MAS will be in no time to join the lists of “Malaysia Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah”. Before MAS and other GLCs continue losing more money, it is time for someone to tell Mohammad Rashdan Yusof and the superdungu Khazanah boys especially Azman M (M for mangkuk) to FUC* OFF and go somewhere. Pui….!!!!

  15. […] opportunity presented itself when Fernandes was appointed into BOD of Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier was ‘suckered of’ RM 18 million for sponsorship for his own private venture in English Premier League bottom-rung Queen’s Park Rangers. This […]

  16. […] A month after his entrance into Malaysia Airlines BOD and as a member of the Exco, he got the national carrier to be suckered of RM 18 million for sponsorship of his private venture into the bottom rung of Barclays Premier League, Queen’s Park Rangers. The AirAsia campaign […]

  17. […] A month after his entrance into Malaysia Airlines BOD and as a member of the Exco, he got the national carrier to be suckered of RM 18 million for sponsorship of his private venture into the bottom rung of Barclays Premier League, Queen’s Park Rangers. The AirAsia campaign […]

  18. […] This is also a strong message to the arrogant and incurably annoying Fernandes for his grandstanding upon the ‘AirAsia-Malaysia Airlines share-swap’ last August where the latter was suckered to pay RM 18 million for lousy Queen’s Park Rangers sponsorship. […]

  19. […] was actually very itchy to the ‘grand standing’, of the new conquered […]

  20. […] tried to do a ‘Malaysia Airlines-sponsorship-of-QPR’ for his F1 team. Then again, QPR Is also a venture at the bottom rung of its leagues. He […]

  21. […] personally ventured into QPR in second half of 2011 and getting Malaysia Airlines to pay for it was part of his calculations, seemingly when the ‘Malaysia-AirAsia Share Swap’ materialised unexpected on 6 August […]


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