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Sunday, 13 May 2018

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) initiates probe into allegations by AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes



FREE MALAYSIA TODAY 

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has initiated a probe into allegations by AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes that he came under intense pressure from the previous government and the airline authority itself.

In a statement, a spokesperson considered these claims to be “serious allegations”.

“We have immediately commenced an investigation into these claims.

“We will keep members of the public informed,” it said.

Fernandes, in a video posted on his Facebook page, had claimed he was under intense pressure to back the Najib Razak administration, including being asked to remove Rafidah Aziz as chairman of AirAsia X and cancel extra flights at low fares for the general election.

He apologised for appearing in a video endorsement of Barisan Nasional and former prime minister Najib Razak and for a repainted AirAsia aircraft in Barisan Nasional livery in the final stages of the campaign.



Fernandes said he shared the views of many Malaysians and that he looked forward to a new Malaysia that gives everyone a chance.

“It is still the happiest moment of my life that we have a new Malaysia, that will give everyone an amazing chance to reach the skies.”

Fernandes said he had been under pressure many times before, having fought the authorities and regulators to ensure that more people can fly.

He acknowledged that he “buckled” at a crucial time in the country’s history.

He said he was merely one player in a highly-regulated industry where nearly everything requires government approval.

“It’s never easy running an airline and one must always support the government of the day.”

Fernandes said he was asked to remove former trade minister Rafidah Aziz, who was chairman of AirAsia X, for her outspoken comments against the ruling government but he refused to do so.

“It was getting harder and harder to resist the pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office.”

He said he also faced pressure after AirAsia put on 120 extra cheap flights which would have carried 26,000 people home to vote.

Within 24 hours, he said, AirAsia was summoned by the Malaysian Aviation Commission and told to cancel those flights. “That put tremendous pressure on us again.

“I apologise once again for the pain and the hurt I caused.”

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