Yours truly is pleased to learn that at last on 8-9-2013 Alwafeer Air, a Jeddah based chartered airline, was ordered by the Court in Jeddah to pay all the outstanding wages within 60 days to the 32 cabin crews and pilots. Yours truly would like to congratulate the 32 ex-MAS staffs for their success in the pursuit of their outstanding hard earned salaries, which Alwafeer Air owed them for years.
The 32 ex-MAS staffs, who was seconded to Alwafeer Air, had to suffer for at least 2 years without any help from MAS, our Embassy in Riyadh or the Minsitry of Foreign Affairs (a whole file was given to Wisma Putra before YB Datuk Anifah Aman was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs). Some were left stranded in Jeddah and some were lucky to return to Malaysia.
These 32 ex-MAS staffs were seconded to Alwafeer Air after MAS/Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB) entered into three agreements to lease three jumbo jets to Alwafeer Air.
After the MAS-AirAsia share swap, during a meeting set up by Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar of Khazanah at the Hilton Hotel to explain to several prominent bloggers, yours truly specifically asked Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar’s ex-business partner in BinaFikir Sdn Bhd (En Mophamed Rashdan Yusof aka Danny or Rashdan) “why MAS did not take actions to take back the three jumbo jets and recover the arear in payment of the lease amounting to RM100 million including engineering fees, spare parts and etc?’’ The Khazanah’s whiz kid and one of the architects of the notorious Mas-AirAsia share swap replied that MAS will be issuing a letter of demand.
On 1-9-2011 yours truly posted an article entitled “How many years did Khazanah sleep on the huge debts owed by Alwafeer Air to MAS?”
As usual Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and/or his ex-business partner Rashdan chose to remain silence. Hence, yours truly was compelled to table a question in Parliament and the Ministry of Finance replied on 4-11-2011.
In its reply, the Ministry said the MAS and PMB had carried out due dilligence before entering into the lease agreements with Alwafeer Air for the three jumbo jets and that Alwafeer Air owed MAS/PMB the sum of US$19.5 million (at current exchange rate it was equivalent to RM64.2 million) for the period of 31-8-2010 to 11-11-2011. In November 2011 a letter of demand was issued to Alwafeer Air. Read HERE.
The said reply from the Minsitry was restricted to debt owed for payments of the monthly lease. Yours truly believes that if the Ministry were to take into account on other debts for engineering services, spares parts and other services, the amount owed by Alwafeer Air should be more than RM100 million.
Now that the 32 ex-MAS staffs have been successful in their claims in the Jeddah Court and yet there is no news from MAS whether it had in fact filed a law suit against Alwafeer Air. By the way, the 32 ex-MAS staffs filed their suits in Court last year. If we were to go by the reply from Ministry of Finance, the suit against MAS must have been filed in 2011 and settled by now.
The question for MAS, PMB and/or Khazanah is: IF a law suit was filed against Alwafeer Air in November 2011, what is the status of said law suit?
Going by the standard behaviour of the top management of MAS and Khazanah, they will exercise their elegant silence in the hope that Malaysians will forget about this issue.
The Auditor General and PAC should investigate into this matter as it had involved at least RM100 million of Rakyat money.