Aussie Competition Commission: AirAsia’s pricing was misleading!

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), an equivalent of Malaysia Competition Commission (MYCC), has filed a lawsuit against AirAsia for failing to disclose the full air fare in its website for the following flights: Melborune and Macau, London, Ho Chi Minh City, New Delhi, Hangzhou & Chengdu, Perth and Taipei, Phuket, Osaka, London, Ho Chi Minh City and Hangzhou, Gold Coast and Ho Chi Minh City, in HERE. The suit has been scheduled to be heard on 2nd March, 2012. Read in HERE ,  APANAMA“Australia nails ‘extraordinary’ AirAsia&  ABITW – “Demand the same from AirAsia”.

It has been the business model of AirAsia for not disclosing the full air fare in its website.  There are many ancillary charges / hidden charges like BOOKING SERVICE FEES RM30, CONVENIENCE FEES per passenger per sector RM8, FUEL SURCHARGE RM90 & etc. Passengers are charged per minute for calling AirAsia to check on their booking or refund and etc. Please read yours truly’s previous posting in HERE

Whilst many critics in Malaysia are not convinced that MYCC will go the whole hawk in its investigation into the secret MAS-AirAsia share swap and Comprehensive Collaborative Framework (CCF), the brainchild of En Mohammed Rashdan Yusof aka Danny (Rashdan), the former business partner of Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar (Amok) when they were in BinaFikir Sdn Bhd. In 2008 BinaFikir Sdn Bhd was sold to Maybank Bhd for RM8 millionBy the way, Maybank Bhd is a GLC, which Khazanah Nasional Bhd (Khazanah) has a substantial share. Of course, co-incidentally Amok was and still is the Managing Director of Khazanah when the said RM8 million sale took place!

After a short span of time, Rashdan “left” BinaFikir Sdn Bhd. Amok waste no time but took his crony and former business partner, Rashdan, into Khazanah and placed him as the Executive Director of Investments of Khazanah. Read HERE and also HERE – “Gang of Two”.

After the said secret share swap was inked, Rashdan was put in charge of MAS until September when En Ahmad Jauhari Yahya took over as the Managing Director of MAS. Then we saw how Rashdan singlehandedly spent RM18 million to sponsor QPR home Jersey for 2 years  when MAS was BLEEDING” in HERE & HERE, cancellations of full load Firefly flights during Raya season, termination of Firefly profitable routes from JB to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, in HERE. Incidentally, AirAsia is flying to these two destinations too.

Yours truly understands why the critics felt that way. Perhaps they have seen how the Security Commission (SC) and Bursa KL have been dragging its feet in its investigation into the said secret share swap. Read in HERE & HERE.  However, yours truly is prepared to give MYCC, which is headed by YA Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, former Chief Judge of Malaya, a chance to perform its national duty to safeguard the interests of all Malaysians. Read in HERE.

Yours truly believes that after the suit has been filed by the ACCC in Australia for misleading pricing, which was a cause for concern in Malaysia, there will be more suits filed in other jurisdictions in UK, Japan, Korea and India. If ACCC were to win its suit in Australia against AirAsia, it will be extremely difficult for MYCC to give it a clean bill of health.

Parliament will be sitting in March, which is two months away. Yours truly will table questions on the investigations by MYCC, SC, Bursa KL and PAC on the said secret share swap and CCF and other related matters.

PAC is also investigating into the said secret share swap.

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38 comments

  1. Dear YB Wee Choo Keong,

    Thank you very much for your tireless efforts in protecting the needs of Malaysian public on these issues.

    Man.Jebat

  2. the old quote “what goes around, comes around”…it proves that TF is not smart after all…once he’s charged guilty, the public could sue him or AA for compensation…this means…MATI FOR TF…serves him right.

  3. No wonder the big mouth Pariah was so quiet for some times. No more public statement about how well AirAsia was doing. we should complain to other countries, India, UK and Japan. Once they all started investigating then our MYCC cannot do a covering up job for him.If AA is found guilty, the penalty is 10% of AA annual published turnover. Syabas to Australian Competition Commission. Our MYCC is still taking its own sweet time.

  4. Alhamdulilah! Serve the greedy ular right. MYCC, what the hell are you doing? Sleeping on the job. Australian authority has moved and our MYCC still TIDUR like SC and the others.

  5. Hooray! Thank you Australian Competition Commission. Teach the pariah a good lesson. janaganlah terlampau angkuh. Kami berharap crony Amok si Rashdan boleh sedar diri sekarang. Janagan terima gaji buta tetapi tidak menjaga kepentingan MAS.

  6. I doubt people like Rashdan or Azman or even AJ dare look in the blogs that has anything with the word MAS/AIRASIA…..well Mr know-it -all of course doesn’t like to be told they’re wrong. Rightly said by many, why is Najib keeping quiet? Doesn’t he have a mind of his own intelligence to tell the public on how he wants MAS to be handled, other than to wait for an advice from those who of course has self interest and who are still finding more ways to scamp the public to fill in their coffers so that their generations for eternity will forever be well taken care of.
    It has to take other than malaysian watchdogs, (my hats off to you Mr Wee…no offence ) to initiate a move publicly in court to question on how to see and unravel unseen costs. All this while ..10 LONG YEARS, this man Tf manouveres his ways helped by the fattest cable in the land…got bolder by the years , his diarrhoeric mouth goaded on by all the awards he received….who stands to gain? The man now termed as one of those many “everyone can fly” from the interior, has to fork out extra money from the minute he books his flight..who innocently puts his cabin bag to be checked in thinking it’s a package only to be told he’s to pay and being as innocent, quietly forks out another amount. On board more money. Now, does this bother TF or those unseen hands …i bet not.
    MYCC, PAC, MACC moves at a pace which can be deemed as snails pace probably waiting for the hype to cool down, while in the meantime lets those who run the company make all they can at the workers’ expense.

  7. As I have said many times over, MAS can only be saved when Amok is kicked out of Khazanah and his crony Rashdan from MAS. The moment Amok is out that will be the beginning of recovery for MAS. This brainless Rashdan is good for nothing except taking instructions from TF. YB please give your best to Amok, Rashdan and TF in the coming Parliamentary session.

    AJ is insignificant. He is just warming the chair and will be known as the worst 6th MD of MAS! Just a budak suruhana.

  8. mas and the other readers I am agree with the views. Najib must get rid of Azman Mokhtar as without him Rashdan will not be placed in MAS to screw things up. Sponsoring of QPR home jersey was most stupid especially when we are told that MAS is financially in problems. This bloody crony Rashdan must be thrown tot he sea for the sharks.

  9. The best news I have read for Chinese New Year. A big Ang Pow for Tony and his AirAsia! Great news. Australian Competition Commission, we are with you. We also hope that our MYCC has the spirit to do their job.

  10. Tony and his AA outfits should get a bigger Ang Pow from the Competition Commission in UK, Japan and Korea. Our MYCC should also investigate into how AA’s business model is not in the best interests of the Malaysian consumers.

    Maybank bought Bina Tak Fikir from Rashdan and gang for RM8 million was scandalous. It should be investigated by SC. A company of this size and time in the market cannot worth this much. Wahid Omar, the CEO of Maybank, should know this better than anybody else.

  11. Strange case of Aussie half brain approach to everything.

    AirAsia X is a point to point airline and this is made quite clear to all travellers in plain English and advertised fares disclosed all compulsory costs ie fare, taxes, surcharge and fees. However not all Australians can read English, esp fine prints.

    I think the problem is the FLY THRU facilities. For example, a PER to LGW (up till 31/3/12) fare could be mistake as a PER to LGW flight with a stop over in KUL. In reality it is a PER-KUL advertised in the ‘Australian way’ i.e. fare fully disclosed and a KUL-LGW advertised in a ‘normal way’ ie sensational low fare but add taxes and other fees. But then again no one can stop aussies from accessing fares relating to pair cities which do not involve Australia.

    The online cyberspace does not discriminates, the ACCC may not understand this.
    IF Air Asia is required to disclose fares offered from KUL to non Australian destinations in the ‘Australia way’ then ACCC is trying to extend their reach beyond their jurisdiction.

  12. Hope MYCC can come out with the result in its investigation on MAS-AirAsia share swap and CCF soon. The CCF seems to be everything for AirAsia. What bloody CCF? Amok and Rashdan stop kidding Malaysians. If you want to help a good friend like Tony please say so. Stop making Malaysians as fools.

  13. Yes, Yes, Yes. To save MASA Amok and his crony Rashdan must be booted from Khazanah and MAS. Amok and Rashdan were responsible for the failed WAU to save MAS and now Rashdan is placed in MAS. Rashdan is just a lap dog taking instructions form Amok and Tony. Budak yang tak mall. Ptui! Ptui! Ptui! to him and his family.

  14. I bet the biggest “hangover ” will be from the top most most guy in Putrajaya. After all he installed these guys, after all the denials , the installations of those idiots which he endorsed, it backfired upon himself. Those years with the “new media” being used against his predecessors, he refused to be IT savvy. Cant say maybe he’s from the “old school”, but so am I, mate.That’s a fact. I think he should use the advice from that octopus who predicts the former world cup champions, at least that creature cannot give any opinion to contradict his “emotional attachments” to his pickings! My honest opinion is this, if that guy from Putrajaya wants to win elections, kick those fellows arses as well as his own kins. Those guys does help him one bit, the rakyat does. Meanwhile keep on distributing the free netbooks for each and every school childrens, it sure helps to keep the rakyat knowleadgeable of the going ons in the administration of Putrajaya, me thinks its either jolokking the sarang tebuan or either opening the cans of worms, you decide ,with that kind gesture, why not give to all the citizens of Malaysia,!If the gov of the day can give Rm500+Rm100 , why not give free to every households a netbook made in Malaysia!

  15. Dear YB. You really are a stickler on the Air Asia-MAS deal. Good for you. As usual, I’ll digress a bit. I appreciate and thank your effort for the repair and upgrade of the Genting Kelang-Melawati road. My only BIGGEST prayer and hope is that nobody would come about and dig a stretch out of the road for whatever reason. I’m sure you would have noticed the last time they dug over the road, resurfaced it, it sank and never repaired till now that the whole stretch was redone.

    • Dear Sdr Affendi

      I do share the same concern as you with regards to the ways that the government agencies carried out their works. It shows that they were not coordinated in what they were doing. I will definitely bring it up in Parliament about this. It is a waste of public fund to dig up road to lay electricity cable then covered it up. The following week Telekom dug it up and thereafter another agencies did it again and again. Thank you for reminding me sdr. I will definitely bring it up in Parliament in the hope that there will be more coordination between the utility agencies.

      Thank you.

      With kindest regards

      wee choo keong

  16. Bravo…Y.B…majority Malaysian support ur noble afford..to stop tony from keep raping national assets n also treat Malaysian customer as lembu…..fly as n whn as AA wish.passengers waiting n waiting….

  17. Sdr Wee.

    Thanks for keeping up your relentless pressure on the government bodies, authorities & Air Asia.

    The issue of Air Asia’s pricing was brought up in 2004 and this was the result. At least the Aussie regulator has more gumption than our weakling regulators who had shown themselves to be more willing to help the Business Software Alliance crack down on pirated software than the interests of ordinary Malaysians.

    I guess if Malaysia needs to attract FDI to provide jobs for our cyber-coolies, we have little choice. Anyway, I use Linux, so I’m on perfectly legal ground. Sorry the brief off-topic digression.

    Back to the topic.

    http://www5.airasia.com/site/en/pressRelease.jsp?id=2e7ec73f-c0a8c85d-177e6b40-34fe65ea

    Press Releases

    6 January 2004

    AirAsia and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Malaysia Resolve Issue of “Misleading” Advertisements

    The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Malaysia has given AirAsia the “go ahead” to continue with its advertisements of low fares following a meeting held between AirAsia’s Management team with the ministry headed by its Director General of Enforcement, Abdullah Nawawi Mohamad. The decision was given at a meeting held as a fact finding mission, following reports on the airline’s “misleading” advertisements.

    Speaking today after the meeting, AirAsia’s Chairman, YBhg. Dato’ Pahamin A. Rajab said, “We are happy that we can put this issue aside and move forward. We would like to thank the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, and the Malaysian Government for resolving the issue quickly and allowing us to focus on our business. We will set –up meetings with officials from the Ministry of Cultural Arts and Tourism, to discuss ways of collaboration to grow tourism and the low fare travel market in Malaysia.

    The ministry has acknowledged that there were no issues on the misinterpretation of the advertisements placed by AirAsia and that it (the advertisements) has no intention to mislead. The ministry has however pointed out that confusion may have arisen due to lack of understanding of the advertisements, particularly by first time flyers with AirAsia who are not familiar with the airline’s unique and innovative concept.

    The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have also commented that AirAsia should explain its low fare scheme to consumers as the concept is still relatively new.

    “We welcome the minister’s suggestion and have planned for road shows to reach out to more people and explain our low fares concept. We will continue to advertise our low fares as practiced previously,” said Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia.

    He further continues, “It is always a low fare when you book a seat on AirAsia, no matter if you get a RM 1.99 fare or any other fare. Our lowest fare represents as much as 80% savings and the highest fare is still 20% lower compared to other full service airlines. We understand that some people, mostly first timers on our flights, may not be familiar with the concept; hence we will continue our PR efforts to educate the public on this matter.”

    AirAsia’s advertisements are similar to those used by other low fares foreign airlines such as EasyJet, RyanAir and Virgin Blue, which are governed by stricter advertising guidelines in their respective countries.

    About AirAsia

    AirAsia is Asia’s first low fare, no frills, ticketless airline. AirAsia currently commands a fleet of 11 aircraft on a 10 aircraft schedule and operates 64 flights a day, point-to-point, from its hub at the KL International Airport to Alor Star, Johor Bahru, Kota Bharu, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Terengganu, Kuching, Labuan, Langkawi, Miri, Penang, Sibu, Sandakan and Tawau. An additional 16 flights has recently been added with the commencement of AirAsia’s 2nd hub at the Senai Airport in Johor Bahru. AirAsia’s first regional flight to Phuket took off from Kuala Lumpur on 8 December 2003.

    With AirAsia, all travel is ticketless and all fares are one-way. For bookings and more information, schedules and fares log on to http://www.airasia.com, or call AirAsia’s Call Centre number at 1 300 88 99 33 (Malaysia), 6733 9933 (Singapore), +603 7884 9000 (outside of Malaysia) or +662 – 515 9999 (Thailand).

    • Charles F Moreira

      Dear Charles

      Thank you so much for your enlightening comments with well researched materials for the readers and myself. I can’t wait to approve your said comments.

      Once again thank you so much.

      With kindest regards

      wee choo keong

  18. Charles Moreira

    What you have shown to us was a clear evidence of how TF/AirAsia got away with things during the Badawi’s administration. It was during that period that MAS was stifled. Even the Director General of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs played balls with AirAsia’s then director through Datuk Pahamin, who has since sold his share and got out. Datuk Pahamin must have knew something that we didn’t know about the problems in AirAsia.

    • Ashton, you can send in your comment in the same way as you sent this comment of yours. Nevertheless, I shall send my email address to you shortly. Thank you

      With kindest regards

      wee choo keong

  19. Dear YB and Frankly,

    Thanks. It’s a pleasure for me to contribute to the discussion and knowledge sharing. I hope it provides more ammunition in your arsenal.

    I recall reading in the papers about that accommodation and how TF and Muhyiddin kind of patched up over that issue and it’s the same Muhyiddin, who’s now the DPM.

    Better print that press release out in case they delete it and there also should be archival newspaper reports about it too. I have printed it out.

  20. Dear YB,

    You wrote back in Sept 2011 “Rashdan: Bina ada Fikir…kah?” about MAS sponsorship in QPR and Berjaya’s sponsorship in Cardiff with a “MALAYSIA” name on its jersey. Well as most of us are aware, Cardiff will play against Liverpool in the FA Cup Final. In comparison, Danny’s QPR is currently sitting at the bottom 5 of premier league table. Khazanah memang BODOH!

    Dear YB, please ask your PM to quickly sack Azman Mokhtar (and his MCOBA friends) and Danny from Khazanah before more taxpayers’ money goes down the drain.

  21. AJ is warming or boiling? Yes this is hot story! My advice, proceed with your intention to leave the burning seat & safe your ass. Do not bother without consent or any arahan from anyone. If so, AJ is not only tinggalkan MAS but tinggalkan belang to Malaysian. Hanya jauhari yang kenal harimau!

  22. Kunyit Hidup

    AJ is neither warming or boiling. AJ is just a budak suruhan to the crony Rashdan and the Pariah. If he is worth his salt, he would not have agreed to the cutting of profitable routes to East Malaysia and Sydney. AJ is just another Gaji Buta deadwood. He will leave MAS with the titled a failed MD of MAS!

  23. Kunyit hidup
    Agreed, it is expected that AJ will go down in history as the shortest-lived CEO of MAS. Remember Danny was already in MAS before AJ came in, why didn’t
    Khazanah just appoint Danny as the CEO? Because , they need a scapegoat or fall guy to do the dirty work, handle the unions, drive the relocation to KLIA etc etc whilst Danny quietly pushes all his hare-brained schemes through the Board, which is dominated by TF and the cronies. Note that the cutting of routes are decided by the Commercial side after looking at the numbers. Commercial, until last week, was headed by Danny, who claims that he can handle the “fallout” from the cutting of routes to Sabah and Sarawak. Danny clearly has not done his homework. Any true-blue MAS staff can tell you that right from day one, one of the objectives for the formation of
    MAS back in 1970 was to facilitate “social integration” between the peninsula and Sabah/Sarawak. It is not just a “bottom line” issue, stupid. Now, who has
    egg on his face when the PM, no less, instructs MAS to reinstate Sandakan,
    and the KK ones as well.
    The Commercial division is overrun by the CONsultants, most notably a certain Louis from , where else, Plane consult, and who clearly wants to make his mark by peppering his language during meetings with some very colourful four-letter words, and who makes no attempt to hide his contempt for these
    “stupid” MAS staff. This is great ‘consulting’ strategy, which will guarantee him
    no support. And perhaps he hasn’t heard that there are labour laws against ‘harrassment; and that includes using the ‘f..” word on MAS staff.
    Great way for AA/TF to ‘transplant’ their culture into MAS – intimidate everyone, take no prisoners, bust the unions, etc etc.
    MAS is doomed.

  24. Recalcitrant and Kunyit Hidup

    I fully agree with both of you and the other readers.

    This crony Rashdan should be shot and throw into the rubbish dumb. He is brainless and survive becuase he has Azman Mokhtar to promote and protect him. Even in Myabank he couldn’t survive. They threw him out. Bloody bast..d. He doesn’t know the culture in MAS. He was there to do the dirty job for his friend Tony. Lets see wheether he cna survive in MAS with the rate he is trying to screw up MAS.

  25. now the pariah talking cock again that the australian court is just a minor problem. another spin. He is just a spinner and has been surviving with his spin all these while. I hope that ACCC will pin him down this time. MYCC what the f..k are you doing over the investigations. Another cover up.

  26. Recalcitrant

    “Social integration”????

    You gotta be kidding, mate!

    What about profitability, return on equity, minority shareholder rights etc? Are all of these alien concepts to you?

  27. Olek Skilgannon
    Yup. How about you telling the people of Sabah and Sarawak that MAS will only fly there if it makes money on those routes, and nothing else? Or remind them about the great ‘businessman’ who operated the rural air services there for not even one year then gave up, and MAS had to clear the s…? Of course, he thought only about profitability and return on equity. Never mind if some remote ulu village is suddenly cut off from civilisation. It’s business. How about telling the people of Sandakan, MAS doesn’t want to fly there, because it’s a business decision? The hue and cry when Sandakan was suspended was loud enough for the Prime Minister, no less, to instruct MAS to resume services to Sandakan. Wonder why the people there didn’t say, oh, we understand, MAS has to make money? For 40 years, MAS has been the favourite whipping boy when it doesn’t make money, and no thanks when it serves destinations that are a result of G to G arrangements or some other ‘political’ considerations?
    MAS has carried a lot of political baggage (internally and externally).There are enough good professionals who have their heads and hearts in the right place, who can run MAS to as it should be run, and to return MAS to what it can and should be.
    A current example of how the political baggage is forced down MAS’ throat is the much-maligned CCF. The same great ‘businessman’ who thinks of nothing but profitability now has his finger in every MAS pie. Now they suspend operations to London, Paris, Mumbai and Delhi. No prizes for guessing who is going to fly the 30,000 passengers who have bought AA tickets? Sure, everyone can fly, this time on MAS! Wow, this is great, pay low cost prices to fly a full-service airline. But, more importantly, since AA thinks about it’s bottom line , do you really want to know how much AA is paying MAS (their collaborative partner) to fly these 30,000 passengers? The answer will make you weep.
    So, MAS doesn’t think of profitability and returm on equity? Tell that to Khazanah when they inked the CCF.

  28. olek

    don’t u learn history during ur school day or u one 1 of the kid who like ponteng.

    when Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaysia, 1 of the condition is for federal G to subsidies air transportation over there. do research first before u talk, u d*%k

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