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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Tony Fernandes of Air Asia Apologises To All Malaysian's & Offers Explanation For Buckling During A Crucial Time of GE14





The Mistake.....



 

Fernandes apologises: They put the squeeze on us

FMT Reporters | May 13, 2018



AirAsia boss says the Najib Razak administration pressured him to remove Rafidah Aziz as chairman of AirAsia X, and to cancel extra flights arranged for voters.



Tony Fernandes has made a public apology for endorsing Barisan Nasional and said AirAsia was under great pressure at the time.

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes says 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.

In a video posted on his Facebook page today, Fernandes apologised for appearing in a video endorsement of Barisan Nasional and Najib Razak and for a repainted AirAsia aircraft in Barisan Nasional livery in the 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 is 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.

As for the video and the repainted plane, Fernandes said he had no real excuses, and 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, who was chairman of AirAsia X, for her outspoken comments against the ruling government but he refused to do so.

“As Rafidah’s impact and popularity grew, the pressure grew exponentially. It was getting harder and harder to resist the pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office,” he said, adding however that he stood firm and never even mentioned it to Rafidah.

He said he also faced pressure after AirAsia put on 120 extra flights which would have carried 26,000 people home to vote. “On top of that, we reduced the ticket prices, to make it affordable: RM99 for flights in peninsular Malaysia and RM129 for flights to East Malaysia.”

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.

He said he had been foolish to think that the video “which I felt was fairly neutral and factual” and repainting the plane would appease the government and protect jobs.

“Under the intense pressure, I buckled. It wasn’t right; I will forever regret it. I apologise once again for the pain and the hurt I caused.

He pledge to make up for his error of judgment.

Yesterday, PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman had come to Fernandes’s defence, calling him an unsung hero and that saying activists, politicians and businessmen who were not in line with BN were threatened and pushed into a corner.

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