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Hardly a week after his threat of pulling out his AirAsia airline operations from Sabah, Tony Fernandes came out with a statement in the paper, the online version is here, that he would never abandon the East Malaysian state even if forced to operate from Kota Kinabalu Airport’s Terminal 1.

This report clearly states that “His statement refuted earlier claim that AirAsia would cease operations in Sabah should the airline be forced to move to Terminal 1 of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport”.

We read the news in the Daily Express, the local paper when we were having a break at the golf club  last Saturday morning and you should hear the voices rising at the same time with lots of mirthful remarks, such as we should have taken that infantile threat as a joke. Some were saying that he could have been castigated and himself “threatened”  by the major shareholders of his company’s stock…laughters all around the tables.

Yes, it did sound like a bad  joke but he really rattled some people in Sabah. But as I opined in my last posting on this issue, the threat was  a bluff, an off-the -cuff emotional remark by Fernandes. It was nothing but an empty “Gertak“.

It’s interesting that to retract his remarks, he chose to issue a press statement rather than face the excitable local reporters in person.

Here goes our bets and my chance to make some easy money! Yet, my buddy CKT happily paid for my soup as he was among those who thought Fernandes was serious about ceasing his airline’s operation in Sabah.

Come to think of it, I was quite supportive of Tony Fernandes at one time by picking up substantial Air Asia shares in the early days, though I traveled on the budget airline only once;  but as time went by I became uncomfortable with his way of doing business that is fraught with hidden charges and poor service, I gradually sold off my shares on principle.

Tony Fernandes - accept it, your business wouldn't have thrived without government's support.

Tony Fernandes – accept it, your business wouldn’t have thrived without Federal and Sabah government’s support.

The MAS-Air Asia share swap sealed my dislike of the man and his business conduct. I also find his arrogance distasteful. He needs to practice more humility and be a bit grateful to the government which has given him so much help and leeway.

His focus on the bottomline is understandable but it should not be at the expense of passengers’ safety and convenience.

Why are more passengers migrating to Malindo Air, the new budget airline which operates from Kota Kinabalu airport’s Terminal 1? It shows that Fernandes’s contention that people are not happy to pay for higher airport tax and use of aerobridges is not really true.

It looks like he only wants to make his company’s shareholders happy with hefty dividends. He would have got away with his grand design had it not been for the presence of a competitor. I thought about the evil of monopoly as I flew out of Terminal 1 last  Sunday evening.

Tony, the joke is now on you!

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