One of Malaysia’s most successful and well-known companies has credited its accomplishments to the nation’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO, said on Thursday (Mar 1) that the company was a “big believer” in the PM’s policies.
“We would not be where we are today if not for your wisdom and vision, and we respectfully hope for your kind consideration on how best to shape an ideal cost environment for low-cost airlines like AirAsia not just to grow but thrive for the benefit of the nation,” Bernama quoted the 53-year-old as saying.
AirAsia is the largest low-cost carrier in Asia, and recently reported a 37 per cent increase in quarterly revenue to 2.66 billion ringgit at the end of 2017.
At the official launch of the company’s RedQ headquarters, Fernandes added that AirAsia had named Najib the ‘Father of Low-Cost Air Travel’ to recognise his efforts, Bernama reported.
“How have we done it? Great staff, great low-cost model but, most importantly, great government, great policies and a great leader who puts the people first,” the New Straits Times quoted the airline chief as saying.
Among the policies he credited to Najib was the lowering of the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in June 2007 which resulted in a jump in passenger traffic at the terminal.
Fernandes also credited Malaysia’s GDP growth, low unemployment rate and job creation to the Prime Minister.
According to NST, the entrepreneur also said that AirAsia is now able to hire top talent from Malaysia and abroad, thanks to “competitive wages and a high standard of living”.
“We fully endorse your vision of Talent Corp and driving wages higher so we can attract the best talent to Malaysia,” he told Najib.
Fernandes’ comments come just days after billionaire Robert Kuok was unwittingly dragged into the spotlight by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudi.
The blogger made a number of accusations against Kuok, claiming that the 94-year-old businessman was looking to change the government by supporting the Democratic Action Party.
These accusations were soon followed by Najib’s comments that Robert Kuok’s success was due to government policies.
“If we look at the list of names of the richest people in Malaysia, such as Robert Kuok, who gave him the key to become the rice and sugar king? It was given to him by the ruling government,” Najib reportedly said.
Kuok’s office later refuted the blogger’s claims, saying it could take action against “baseless” allegations made against him.
Kuok also said the false allegations “constitute very serious libel” and are “wholly unjustified”, adding that he had a “deep appreciation for the opportunities he has had”.