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Friday, December 30, 2011

RM18 mil for EPL at the expense of Sabah


The move to re-route flights from Sabah has made foreign investors 'jittery', says DAP.
KOTA KINABALU: Was the decision to cancel outgoing flights from Sabah to Japan, Korea and Australia aimed at ‘allowing’ MAS to blow RM18 million on sponsorship of the English Premier League (EPL) to beef up Tony Fernandes’s image?
This is the question that’s sizzling through the local grapevines following a recent report in a national daily.
The controversial sponsorship of an EPL club by AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has further incensed locals who are already stewing over MAS’ irrational decision to cancel outgoing flights to the east from Sabah.
Sabah DAP has questioned the two airlines for their multi-million ringgit sponsorship of Queens Park Rangers (QPR) whilst trimming flights in and out of the state to purportedly “save money”.
State DAP secretary, Dr Edwin Bosi said MAS sponsorship of the home jersey of QPR together with AirAsia’s sponsorship of the away jersey is a first for the English Premier League and celebrates MAS’s recent collaboration framework with AirAsia.
Quoting MAS executive director Mohammed Rashdan Yusof, an English daily reported that the sponsorship for the QPR home jersey in the Barclays Premier League will cost the national carrier some RM18 million.
It was reported that the two-year sponsorship fee for both MAS and AirAsia for the club totals some RM30 million.
AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes only recently acquired a stake in the football club. He is currently its chairman.
“While MAS complains of losing in many of its sectors, their sponsorship of Queens Park Rangers is questionable. The sponsorship is not cheap and there is no guarantee of returns.
“Most analysts according to the report are not thrilled by this MAS sponsorship deal. They feel that MAS should be focusing on strengthening its flagging financial status and showing some concrete moves towards this end. Sabah DAP concurs with this view.
“It looks like MAS is being used to support the “recreation” of AirAsia’s chief steward and major shareholder who is the chairman of QPR,” Bosi pointed out in a statement issued here yesterday.
Foreign investors jittery
He also said Sabah DAP sympathizes with the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) government for not being able to do anything about MAS recent decision to suspend four regional routes from Sabah next year, apart from the eight international flights taken off its schedule in 2012, despite a strong-and-friendly relationship with the federal government.
“What is the point of (the state government) just expressing being upset?
“The state government should read and take heed of the grouses of the players in tourism, hotels and manufacturing sectors. They are the experts and the engine of economic growth in Sabah.
“With this type of behaviour, even the foreign investors will be jittery and lose confidence.
“Sabah DAP would like to reiterate that only with a change of government in Putrajaya we will be able to do something about MAS.
“As a national carrier MAS has failed the people of Malaysia for downsizing its operations. The government is partly to be blame for the gradual demise of MAS in this sector,” he said.
In a separate statement, MP for Kota Kinabalu, Hiew King Cheu urged MAS to reconsider its decision, stressing that travellers must first be adequately consulted.
Inconvenience all around
He said he had received a flood of complaints from the public angered by the re-routing of these international flights via Kuala Lumpur instead of flying directly to the various overseas destinations like China, Japan, Australia, and even to Sandakan.
“This has caused much inconveniences and problems to many travellers. The re-routing via Kuala Lumpur may not suit every one’s travel plans not forgetting the time spent waiting for connecting flights,” he said.
He claimed that this has inevitably resulted in many travellers cancelling their earlier booking with MAS and switching to the other airlines despite paying more.
“MAS should compensate the travellers in cancelling the particular route to overseas. This is necessary because the travellers have to spend extra money to book on to other foreign airlines in the region,” he said.
Hiew also reminded the national carrier not to ignore its social responsibility to Malaysians.
“Some of these international routes might not be profitable but in order to serve the community and meet their needs, these routes must be maintained even at a loss,” he said.

1 comment:

  1. Strife for 'self-rule' in Sabah & Sarawak ... and leave all these sicknesses behind..for good...Then we will be able to prosper like Singapore and Brunei...

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