Saturday, October 15, 2011

Adakah 'Competition Act 2010' tidak melindungi rakyat berpendatan rendah Sarawak?

Dr Wafi: MAS – AirAsia share swap contravened Competition Act?

It was most worrying to see what had taken place in MAS after the inking of the secret MAS – AirAsia share swap on 9-8-2011. 

The glaring events after the said secret share swap were as follows:

  • the announcement of changing Firefly’s original objectives and plans under the old management of MAS headed by YM Tengku Azmil, who has since “resigned”; 

  • decision to cancel many Firefly full load flights during the recent Raya season;

  • decision to terminate profitable routes from JB to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu from 15-9-2011;

  • decision to terminate MAS profitable route to Bandung, Indonesia, from 4-10-2011;

  • decision to pay RM18 million to sponsor QPR home jersey for two years when MAS was supposed to be in deep financial state; and

  • others that have not been made known or exposed yet.

On 4-10-2011 yours truly has also tabled a letter to Public Account Committee (PAC) in Parliament calling for an investigation into the said secret share swap. Yours truly has been informed that PAC will sit on 18-10-2011 to consider the matter.  The said letter of complaint to PAC will be posted in yours truly blog soon.

Yg Bhg Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rhaman, the former MD of MAS when MAS was in good financial health, has commented on the said secret share swap. 

Under the new organisational chart of MAS, the learned Dr Wafi Nazrin Tan Sri Abdul Hamid, is the new Head of Legal and Risk Department of MAS. He was a senior vice president for Corporate Services of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under the old management. He is the son of Tan Sri Abdul Hamid bin Othman, former Minister in the Prime Minister Department in charge of Islamic Affairs.

Dr Wafi has a degree in law and maritime. He has also obtained a post-graduate qualification in European Union Competition Law from Kings College, London University. In recognising his international experience in competition law, he has been appointed by the government as advisor to the new Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC). He is also a contributing author to the legal reference “ASEAN Competition Law” (2011). 

Dr Wafi is also the committee member of the Interim Competition Commission Unit.

Dr Wafi has been quoted to have said that the Competition Act 2010 would benefit everyone.  According to him, currently, a lot of prices of goods and services in Malaysia were fixed and once the Competition Act 2010 was fully implemented, price fixing was no longer allowed among businesses. He has also said that “The beauty of this Act is that the prohibitions under this Act apply to all commercial activities and government-linked companies.”

There were three provisions under the Competition Act 2010; prohibition against anti-competitive agreement which prohibited any horizontal or vertical agreement which had the object or effect of significantly preventing, restricting or distorting competition in Malaysia.

Prohibition against abuse of dominant position which prohibited abuses by enterprises occupying ‘dominant positions’ in the market they were operating in and the power to conduct market review which stated that the Competition Commission may conduct a review into any market in order to determine whether any feature or combination of features of the market prevented, restricted or distorted competition in the market.” From the said statements,  Dr Wafi  must be very learned and an expert in the law of competition. 

Bearing in mind Dr Wafi’s above statements, appointment as the advisor to the MyCC and a member of the Interim Competition Commission Unit, Dr Wafi is one of the best, if not the best, person in Malaysia to advise us whether the said secret share swap has contravened the Competition Act 2011.

Dr Wafi should also make public whether:

  • prior to and/or during and/or after the negotiations of the secret share swap, he has duly advised Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and En Mohammed Rashdan Yusof on the possibilities of MAS contravening the provisions of the said Competition Act;

  • he has advised the whizz kid, En Mohammed Rashdan Yusof, and his fellow directors of MAS, Datuk Azman Yahya of Scomi fame and Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof on the provisions of the Competition Act prior to all the decisions (i.e. cancellations of full load Firefly flights, termination of Firefly’s profitable routes from JB to Kuching and KK and termination of MAS routes to Bandung, Indonesia and etc) that were made before the appointment of the MAS new CEO, En Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

The Malaysian Competition Commission is headed by YAA Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, who has 43 years of exemplary judicial service. She was the first Malaysian lady Judge of the High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court. She retired in January 2007 as the Chief Judge of Malaya. She has been known to be a judge of high integrity.

The Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister, YB Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been quoted to have said that “In line with its “People First, Performance Now” policy, the government yesterday launched a two-pronged action strategy to protect Malaysians against profiteering businesses. It not only enforced the long-awaited Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2010 yesterday, it also set up a Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) under the Competition Commission Act 2010.”

The MCC has decided to look into the said secret share swap.  Despite all the publicity hypes by En Mohammed Rashdan Yusof aka Danny and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, the said secret share swap has yet to be cast in stone!

In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to hear the testimonies of the Malaysian corporate stars, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, En Mohd Rashdan Yusof aka Danny, Datuk Azman Yahya and others before the Public Account Committee. And, of course, they and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, may have to also testify before the Malaysian Competition Commission too after 1-1-2012.

By Yang Berhormat Wee Chee Keong, Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bintang

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