Like a python, eventually the true colors of Tony Fernandes would be demonstrated some day. In his tweets yesterday, AirAsia CEO Fernandes was uncouth and unbecoming when he took potshots against Malaysia Airports and Ministry of Transport:
The Sun reported this attacks:
AirAsia chief launches attack on MAHB on social media
Posted on 15 November 2011 – 11:19pm
Last updated on 15 November 2011 – 11:25pm
KANG SIEW LI
PETALING JAYA (Nov 15, 2011): AirAsia chief Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is in the news again, this time attacking Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) in the social media realm, the same day the airport operator was raising the airport departure tax for international passengers as well as aircraft landing and parking charges for airlines.
Slamming MAHB’s move, Fernandes, who is also a director of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), said: “With economic conditions as they are, MAS and AirAsia have given MAHB great ideas to increase their income by working with us and attract more (new) airlines (to operate from Malaysia)… then (MAHB should) reduce (airport) charges to the people.
“It’s the passengers who pay airport tax. We are fighting for the people of Malaysia!” he posted on his Facebook page.
Incidentally, AirAsia had scheduled a press conference yesterday to address the hike in airport taxes by MAHB, but had cancelled it at the last minute, “due to an unforeseen circumstance”.
MAHB had last month received the Transport Ministry’s nod to raise airport tax at the country’s 39 airports it manages, excluding low-cost carrier terminals (LCCTs), to RM65 from RM51 for international travellers. For departing international passengers at the LCCT in Sepang and Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu, the airport tax will be raised to RM32 from RM25.
The aircraft landing and parking charges, meanwhile, will be gradually raised by up to 30% and 64%, respectively.
“Too many empty promises from MAHB. We as airlines get blamed for their poor performance,” Fernandes said.
He also took a swipe at the Transport Ministry’s decision to approve the hike, asking why it wasn’t defending the people “to make sure they get good value for the (old) RM25 airport tax”.
“They are the regulators. The ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Long See Wool, sits on the board of MAHB. How can he be objective and play fair to the airlines?” he asked.
Fernandes also questioned MAHB’s recent move to build a 3.96km third runway at the new LCCT called KLIA2 in Sepang, the delay in its completion as well as the escalating cost of building KLIA2.
“Why is KLIA building a third runway when they don’t use dual mode on two runways. London’s Heathrow Airport has 60 million passengers with two runways. Fix the air traffic system, MAHB. That would have been cheaper than building another runway,” he said.
“AirAsia wants MAHB to come clean. Terminal (KLIA2) is supposed to be operational by June 2012 and supposed to cost RM2 billion. What’s the truth?”
When contacted by SunBiz yesterday, MAHB CEO and managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid said the airport operator will respond in due course.
Fernandes also hit out at the four MPs who had on Monday criticised him and Khazanah Nasional Bhd CEO and managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar over the recent MAS-AirAsia share-swap deal.
“(The) four MPs have…made it very personal for five years. One MP said I rape poor villagers.
“(But) villagers could never fly before. We have worked so hard to make flying affordable and 130 million people have flown due to us. Why are these members of parliament not questioning the cost of airports and fighting for lower taxes for the rakyat?” he wrote.
And also Business Times:
Fernandes tweets his ire over host of issues
In a series of tweets, AirAsia CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes raised questions on MAHB’s operations, the effectiveness of members of parliament and the objectivity of the Transport Ministry
KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd may have called off a press conference yesterday on Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd’s (MAHB) airport tax hike but that didn’t stop its co-founder from taking to Twitter to vent his frustration.
In a series of tweets which started in the morning, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes raised questions on MAHB’s operations, the effectiveness of members of parliament (MPs) and the objectivity of the Ministry of Transport (MOT).
Fernandes also questioned the need for a third runway in Kuala
Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) when there are ways to increase utilisation of existing runways.
“Why is KLIA building a third runway when they don’t use dual mode on two runways? Heathrow has 60 million passengers
with two runways. Fix the air traffic system MAHB. Would have been cheaper than building another runway,” he said.
Fernandes questioned why MPs, who had criticised him, have not questioned the cost of airports and fought for lower taxes for the rakyat.
MOT was also not spared, as Fernandes put to task its role in regulating airports.
“The (secretary-general Datuk) Long See Wool of Ministry of Transport sits on the Malaysia Airports board. How can he be objective and play fair to the airlines?” he asked.
Fernandes’ rant was triggered by the hike in airport tax, landing and parking charges which took effect yesterday.
Last month, MAHB announced that MOT had approved a RM14 increase in airport tax for international passengers to RM65 per passenger for most of its international airports.
The low-cost carrier terminal in KLIA and Terminal 2 in Kota Kinabalu saw charges go up by RM7 per international passenger to RM32.
Landing and parking charges will rise in three stages over three years.
Landing charges will be nine per cent higher and parking charges will be increased by 18 per cent a year.
It is very inconsiderate for Fernandes to do this, especially where he is now a director and member of the Exco Committee of Malaysia Airlines, which is a GLC under Khazanah. His company Tune Air is a 20.5% share holder of Malaysia Airlines, which was the outcome of the ‘hostile reverse take order’ in an arm twisting ‘share swap’ deal concluded on 9 August. Many was appalled on the terms of the ‘share swap’ and how Fernandes was quick to devour Malaysia Airlines for his advantage, particularly all the airlines under the Tune Air Group.
Malaysia Airports is a Khazanah listed subsidiary.
We were told that Khazanah Holdings Bhd. Managing DIrector Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar specifically off Fernandes when they were talking to do the ‘share swap’ that “The latter shouldn’t do any grand-standing” and “Leave Malaysia Airports alone”. Fernandes was also specifically asked to “Settle all AirAsia’s dues to Malaysia Airports”, which peaked to an aggregated sum of RM 115 million.
Actually, Fernandes never left Malaysia Airports alone. Sources within said soon after able to pounched onto Malaysia Airlines successfully, he was ultra quick to make his moves on Malaysia Airports. This is expected of him as once, he harboured to intention to control his own airport and wiggled his ways via Sime Darby. However, it was foiled.
Now that Fernandes is part of Malaysia Airlines and Khazanah Holdings Bhd. is a shareholder and has a director in AirAsia BOD, Khazanah Holdings Managing Director Azman has the moral obligations to shut him up and discipline him. It is very crude of Fernandes to make pot shots in the social media like that, when in his position now as director of a GLC company and operator of a major regional low cost carrier, he must have other proper ways and channels to express his views to both Malaysia Airports and Ministry of Transport.
In fact, for someone who has been collecting airport taxes upfront for his AirAsia passengers and later dodged his ways to not pay Malaysia Airports. That should be deemed as wrongful if not unscrupulous. But so far, Fernandes got away with it without even a slap on his wrist.
Why is conniving former record executive who is famous for his showmanship and snazzy marketing gimmicks, do this unbecoming act of rubbishing Chief Secretary of a Ministry, another GLC and Government agency in his tweets?
Many people are speculating the thiat is a precursor to the outcome of on going Securities Commission and Bursa Malaysia investigations on the ‘share swap’ deal. Even MPs raised concern over this rather dodgy deal.
Tuesday November 15, 2011
Barisan MPs criticise MAS-AirAsia share swap deal
BARISAN Nasional MPs criticised the controversial Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia share swap deal during the Budget debate.
The issue cropped up when Barisan backbenchers deputy chief Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) said he would continue to voice opposition against the low-cost carrier if the ministry failed to thoroughly investigate the allegations levelled against it.
“I ask the ministry to carry out a proper investigation that will provide accurate answers,” he said.
The outspoken MP also hit out at AirAsia for purportedly impo-sing exorbitant excess luggage fees on passengers as well as the lack of plans for aerobridges at KLIA2.
Wee Choo Keong (Ind-Wangsa Maju) also joined in the chorus of protest, saying safety must come first for passengers.
“Every airline must use the airbridge, for the convenience and safety of the people.
“They should not be made to walk on the tarmac, which is very dangerous. Many countries have rules disallowing this,” he said.
A Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee would investigate beginning 22 November on the ‘share swap’ deal between Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia.
The truth is that AirAsia’s stock prices rose from RM 2.40 in February to RM 4.00 in August (the price which was determined as the basis for the ‘share-swap’ with Malaysia Airlines). Then there was a ‘wayang’ a few months before the ‘share-swap’ where Fernandes ‘threatened’ to move AirAsia head quarters to Jakarta.
We here in BigDogDotCom have said that Fernandes had always been bad news. During the mid 2006 ‘Airline Rationalisation Plan’ where Fernandes used the ‘Level Four Boys’ to ask then PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to hand over majority of Malaysia Airlines’ domestic routes to AirAsia, which include the heavily subsidised Rural Air Services. Not only he cannibalised the RAS for his expantionary program without actually serving the consumers in the interior of Sabah and Sarawak, he manipulated the additional routes to earn him a bigger market share for investor confidence.
Probably this is the right opportunity to reprimand him. He cannot get away with barking and being uncouth at GLCs and Government agencies recklessly in social media just like that. The Head of GLCs Azman Mokhtar, must now speak up for Malaysia Airports and muzzle this arrogant canine. His barks has become unbearably annoying.
The sooner this pariah canine with a Berkshire accent could be muzzled, better for the industry and stakeholders’ relation management for Malaysia Airlines, which calls KLIA her home.