Now Everyone Cannot Owe PSC!

In December 2018 Malaysia Airport (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (Malaysia Airport) had filed three law suits against AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) for the recovery of cumulative unpaid Passenger Service Charge (PSC), which was previously known as Airport Tax, amounting to RM40,728,327.50 and unpaid late payment charges RM792,381.00.

In November 2017, Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) announced the final step for the full equalisation of PSC across all local airports in Malaysia effective from January 1, 2018. This was to equalise the PSC for non-Asean international flights at KLIA-2 to be the same with those at KLIA and other airports in Malaysia from RM50 to the regulated RM73 PSC. During this period  Tony Fernandes voiced out his dissatisfaction over Mavcom’s roles, noting that the commission’s airport tax was charged “unfairly” and other complaints about Malaysia Airport and MAVCOM, HERE.

The case numbers for the said three law suits are:

KL High Court Writ Summon No: WA-22NCVC-816-12/2018, WA-22NCVC-817-12/2018 and WA-22NCVC-58-12/2018.

On 18 July 2019 the Learned High Court Judge, YA Datuk Azimah Binti Omar, had adjudged that AAX to pay Malaysia Airport the unpaid cumulative PSC sum of RM40,728,327.50 and unpaid late payment interest of RM702,381.00.  In September 2019, it was reported that AAX applied for a stay of execution of the said Judgement and it was dismissed by the court.  

Recently the Learned Judge has delivered her 74 page Grounds of Judgment against AAX.  It is not unusual for Judges to deliver their Grounds of Judgement a few months after they they had given their judgment in a case. The reason being that the Judges have to handle many cases especially in the big towns like KL. More importantly the Learned Judges have to consider the written submissions of the parties, sieve through all the evidence led during the hearing/trial (Notes of Evidence can be thousand of pages) and apply the law to the evidence. It is not an easy exercise to write the Grounds of Judgment, which will be subsequently published in the law reports to be read by students, lawyers, academics and others.

It is a damning judgment for AAX!

Below is the summary of the said Judgment:

  1. The power to determine the regulated PSC rate lies solely with the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM). See: para 42 of the Judgement.
  2.  Malaysia Airport is enforcing the PSC set by MAVCOM. See: para 47 of the Judgement.
  3. PSC is a Fixed Rate and not a ceiling rate to be negotiated upon. If AAX was unhappy with the PSC rate, it should have taken it up with MAVCOM and not vex Malaysia Airport. The contention that the PSC Rate was a ceiling rate was clearly an afterthought. See: para 48 & 66 of the Judgement.
  4. AAX was bending the law to suit its narratives. “This Court cannot stand with the Defendant’s attempt to bend the law to suit its narrative” (in verbatim). See: para 48 of the Judgement.
  5. It was a backdoor attempt on Judicial Review against MAVCOM’s statutory decisions in determining the PSC Rates by AAX, and the court will not be manipulated as an instrument to assist AAX indolence”. See: para 52 of the Judgement.
  6. While AAX had accepted the Regulations and/or Conditions of Use for Kuala Lumpur International Airport Malaysia (COU) 2017, AAX ought not to be allowed to willy-nilly shift the goal post as and when it suits its fancy and narrative.” “No man can be allowed to go back on his own words and admissions.” (In verbatim.) See: para 87 of the Judgement.
  7. PSC can not be set off by other claims. See: para 91 – 93 of the Judgement.
  8. AAX had also agreed that Malaysia Airport shall not be liable for any loss and damage due to planned or unplanned closure of KLIA and KLIA2 or suspension of the airport by Malaysia Airport.  See: para 96 of the Judgement.
  9. AAX is barred from claiming losses or damages from Malaysia Airport.  See: para 96 of the Judgement.

Below are the important excerpts of the said 74 page Grounds of Judgement.   

Thump Up To MAVCOM To Protect Travelers On Refund of PSC

In December 2011 AirAsia was campaigning against the increased of PSC by MAHB. What a noble act!

It is an open secret that airlines have forfeited the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) or Airport Tax of no-show passengers and treated the unclaimed Passenger Service Charge or Airport Tax as part its revenue. This is definitely no right under law. Continue reading “Thump Up To MAVCOM To Protect Travelers On Refund of PSC”

Court Finds: “True or Substantially True” – Part Two (MAHB had imposed more than RM604,236.65 in late payment charges against AirAsia Group)

Now Everyone Can Know The Truth

During the recent concluded defamation trial Ms Vijaya Priya A/P Ananthan, the AirAsia Bhd’s (AirAsia) Government Relation Officer, had testified in the AirAsia’s defamation suit against yours truly that when MPs submitted questions concerning AirAsia in Parliament, AirAsia will be consulted by the Ministry of Transport and AirAsia will prepare answers for the Ministry to reply in Parliament.

Ms Vijaya Priya A/P Ananthan was on a denial syndrome

For the record, of course Ms Vijaya Priya denied that AirAsia owed any passenger service charge (PSC) also known as Airport Tax to MAHB. She must be given a badge of honour for steadfastly in the denial syndrome mode when testifying.  A job well done!. She should be promoted because she is on the same page with her superior.

Backgrounds

All airlines are collecting the PSC on behalf of the airport operators. In this case and in Malaysia is MAHB. The status of the airline is a collecting agent and in a position of trust. The collected PSC from passengers, who have completed their flights, lawfully belongs to MAHB.

Airlines being the collecting agents for the airport operators have no reason to owe or withhold  any PSC, when it is due and payable, from airport operators unless they are unable to meet their financial commitments for reasons best known to them. It must be noted that all PSC is fully paid in advance by passengers upon the issuance the flight ticket.

The Glaring Evidence During The Said Defamation Trial

AirAsia is contractually bound to pay over all PSC collected to MAHB within 30 days from the date of invoice.  Overdue payment after the said 30 days, MAHB will impose late Payment Charges of 1% from the date of invoice.

The MAHB’s Senior Manager (Finance), Puan Zulriani Binti Zahari, had testified in court that at the material time AirAsia Bhd and its group of companies or related companies had owed PSC to MAHB and MAHB had imposed Late Payment Charges on AirAsia Bhd, AirAsia X, Thai AirAsia, Zest Airways (Zest AirAsia) and PT Indonesia AirAsia for late payment of PSC and they were as follows:

 

AirAsia Bhd

In 2009, RM   92,551.71;

In 2010, RM 463, 526.01;

In 2011, RM 373, 328.17; as of 30 November 2011, the late payment charges      accrued was RM 194, 782.17;

In 2013, RM  25, 879.98;

In 2014, RM 604, 236.65

 

AirAsia X Bhd

In 2009, RM   40, 513.75;

In 2010, RM   98, 886.25;

In 2014, RM 120, 084.48;

She had also testified that MAHB had also imposed Late Payment Charges of 1% against Thai AirAsia Limited, Zest Airways (AirAsia Zest), as follows:

 

Thai AirAsia

In 2009, RM  35, 784.70;

In 2010, RM155, 135.00;

In 2011, RM 105, 766.49;

In 2012, RM    1, 823.33.

 

Zest Airways (AirAsia Zest)

In 2013, RM   3, 051.49;

In 2014, RM  24, 078.65;

Between 1 January 2015 and 20 April 2015, the amount of late Payment charges that had accrued was RM 22,550.14.

 

PT Indonesia AirAsia

In 2009, RM 192, 837.76;

In 2010, RM 291, 839.01;

In 2011, RM   44, 424.35;

In 2012, RM     6, 446.38;

In 2014, RM   13, 299.42;

For the period between 1 January 2015 and 20 April 2015, RM 15, 644.66.

Just imagine a mere 1% Late Payment Charges imposed by MAHB, the Late Payment charges amounted to as high as RM 604, 236.65 for AirAsia in 2014 and RM 120, 084.48 for AirAsia X in 2014, RM 120, 084.48 for Thai AirAsia in 2010, RM 24, 078.65 for Zest Airways (AirAsia Zest) in 2014 and RM 291, 839.01 for PT Indonesia in 2010.

During the trial AirAsia did not directly challenge the testimonies of the said MAHB’s Senior Manager, Finance, on the PSC debts owed and late Payment Charges imposed by MAHB against AirAsia, AirAsia X, Thai AirAsia, Zest Airways (AirAsia Zest) and PT Indonesia AirAsia. It was obvious that it could not challenge the facts and figures because they were true or substantially true as found by the learned High Court Judge.

In the AirAsia Statement of Claim, it had the audacity to claim that on 20.4.2015 yours truly had falsely and maliciously published the article entitled “Why Liow & MAHB encouraged AirAsia to owe RM50 million PSC/Airport Tax?”, in HERE.

En Amir Fawsal Zakaria, Head of AirAsia Legal Department. A professional who was on wilful blindness trip.

When AirAsia filed the said defamation suit, Encik Amir Faesal Zakari, Head of Legal Department,  had been quoted to have said:

“The many misleading and defamatory statements published by Wee are intended to mislead the public and damage our reputation.” AirAsia filed a suit because our reputation has been damaged by this conduct despite efforts to correct the misinformation published about AirAsia.”

Yours truly is wondering which law school En Amir Faesal Zakaria went to for him to come out with such embarrassing statement. May be he was on a wilful blindness trip when he made that statement.  Now it has been proven that this so-called legal expert, En Amir Faesal Zakaria, had made the above false statement with the clear intention to mislead members of the public. He is just a “Budak Suruhan” at best!

Had En Amir Faesal consulted its Group Finance Officer, Mr Shin Kok Leong, about the PSC debt, he would have known the real facts and wouldn’t have made that stupid statement. May be he was influenced by his environment to make that irresponsible statement with the hope to protect the image of AirAsia at all costs. What a stupid act for a professional!

By the way during the trial, this En Amir Faesal Zakaria, did not show up in court to support the AirAsia team of officers. May be deep down in his heart, he knew the outcome of the trial because the truth will always prevail.

On 6 March, 2018,  the learned High Court Judge, Justice Datuk Su Geok Yam, had found the allegations in the said article was true or substantially true, in HERE.

In future, readers should be mindful and cautious when reading any statement from AirAsia or any of its officers.

Stay tuned for Part 3.

Court finds: “Allegations Were True or Substantially True” – Part 1

Now Everyone Can Know The Truth –  On 6 March, 2018, the KL High Court finds that AirAsia has failed to prove its claim and the article complained of in this blog was true or substantially true. The said defamation suit was dismissed with cost of RM50,000.00.

Yb Liow Tiong Lai, the AirAsia friendly Minister of Transport.

On 6 June, 2015, AirAsia Bhd filed a defamation suit against yours truly. The said defamation suit was based on the article that yours truly authored and published on 21 April 2015 in this blog, with the headline “Why Liow & MAHB encouraged AirAsia to owe RM50 million PSC/Airport Tax?” HERE. Continue reading “Court finds: “Allegations Were True or Substantially True” – Part 1″

Why Is MAHB/Govt Allowing AirAsia To Bully Them?

The state of the art Terminal 1 of Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Just compare it with picture of Terminal 2 below.
The state of the art Terminal 1 of Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Just compare it with the picture of Terminal 2 below.

 

The Terminal 1 of Kota Kinabalu International Airport cost the nation RM1.5 billion. It was opened for operations on 19-8-2008 while enhancement and expansion of Terminal 1 was completed in 2011.  Despite these developments, AirAsia had been dictating terms to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and/or Government and has refused to move to Terminal 1 as directed. Continue reading “Why Is MAHB/Govt Allowing AirAsia To Bully Them?”