Saturday, August 27, 2011

Khazanah: Who are the business partners of Tony in AsiaAsia X, a private limited company?

By Yang Berhormat Wee Choo Keong
Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bintang
In the Inquire Business report 0n 7-8-2011 quoted Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and his partner to have said in a joint statement that
“As the major shareholders of AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd (which operates long-haul budget flights), we are committed to increasing shareholder value in both our core investments by continuously exploring various opportunities to enhance our franchise,. The emphasis is mine. From this joint statement it was crystal clear that Khazanah Nasional Bhd, as the majority shareholder of MAS appeared to be very desperate to buy a franchise for these “special” brand names AirAsia and AirAsia X from Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and his business partners. With the pace and the way in which this so-called share swap was concluded with such utmost secrecy gave the impression to all Malaysians that Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, Mohammed Rashdan Yusof and especially YB Tan Sri Nor Yacob, the Minister of Finance II under PM Abdullah Badawi were TOTALLY unaware of the Malaysian business partners of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ lucrative aviation business.

Since these three powerful personalities in Khazanah were totally ignorant of the big names of the Malaysian business partners of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, let me list them down below for their easy reference :
Abbel Aziz @ Abdul Aziz bin Abu Bakar
Datuk Kamarudin bin Meranun
Dato’ Kalimullah bin Masherul Hassan
Lim Kian Onn
Fam Lee Ee
Today Malaysians have been subjected to another  press report based on “sources” pertaining to AirAsia X in the so-called share swap which appeared in the Star today, in HERE. Previously the MAS-AirAsia share swap deal, which was shrouded in utmost secrecy was leaked out in a report published by an AirAsia’s friendly news portal, in HERE, also based on sources with clinical accuracy.  This time the trend has shifted from the said news portal to the Star. Why a sudden shift of the mode of publicity stance?
Under the secret negotiation of share swap, Khazanah Nasional Bhd has the option to purchase 10% stake in AirAsia X by September. Going by the current schemes of things, the said sources report, Khazanah Nasional Bhd (Khazanah) has appointed the investment bank Morgan Stanley to finalise the proposed valuation of the 10% stake in AirAsia X. According to a top official of Khazanah, this so-called deal of 10% stake in AirAsia X is dodgy! I am not all surprised by this statement because from the last financial statement for the AirAsia X Sdn Bhd for its year ending 31-12-2009, which was filed with with Companies Commission on 30-06-2010, recorded an after tax loss of RM89,835,000-00.
In the said sources report Azran Osman-Rani was quoted to have said that ” Khazanah’s potential participation would signal the entry of a strong institutional investor into the company and would be used as a benchmark for the subsequent IPO price.” From this report, it would appear from this statement that AirAsia X Sdn Bhd, is going for listing soon. Perhaps Khazanah will be a good vehicle to ride on to get speedy approval with the indirect endorsement from Khazanah.   
Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and En Mohammed Rashdan Yusof be reminded that AirAsia X Sdn Bhd is a totally different legal entity to AirAsia Bhd, which is a public listed company and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd is a private limited company. The original name of AirAsia X Sdn Bhd was FLY ASIAN EXPRESS SDN BHD and it was only changed on 21-09-2007. I do not know why. May be it was a good business strategy to deal with Ministry of Transport when applying for international routes.  2007 was the year that AirAsia X began to operate.  Therefore, Khazanah must take note of these glaring facts. I hope that Khazanah will not want Malaysians to believe that AirAsia X Sdn Bhd with after tax loss of about RM89 million is also needed to save MAS from the “brink”.
I am just wandering whether Ministry of Transport was aware of the facts that AirAsia X Sdn Bhd is not the same as AirAsia Bhd when it granted the 32 international routes to it and recently another five new routes including Jeddah, which is very profitable. It seemed that Ministry of Transport was also helping and encouraging a private limited company, AirAsia X Sdn Bhd to compete with MAS where MAS has expanded million of tax payers money to nurture and promote the routes to London, Jeddah, Sydney and the like. AirAsia X Sdn Bhd just moved in with enormous help from the Ministry of Transport help and at the same time did not say Thank You to MAS.
I am sorry that I am unable to move on the LSG Sky Chef Brahim Sdn Bhd, which is connected to powerful politician. The MAS-Asia share swap is moving at tremendous pace with favourable exposure to move into MAHB and etc. Thank God that Tan Sri Azam Mokhtar has assured bloggers that no one can speak on behalf of MAS or Khazanah and he assured us that Tan Sri Bashir shall stay on as chairman in MAB despite the various press “reports” in the said news portal and certain MSM, please read Rockybru’s blog in, HERE.
May I take this opportunity to wish all my Muslim friends and other Muslims “SELAMAT BERBUKA”.

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