Only Airline owners can make money, others are prohibited!


The above describes the new business model. It attracts many adherents who are mesmerized by Ithe consummate salesman.  Only anointed people are allowed to make money. Others must never be allowed. The doubters and cynics are just envious. Maybe closet racists.

I see some bloggers are now ganging to demonize Tony F. I support them. But I am also somewhat bemused. Some of these writers met up with Azman Mokhtar and Danny at an appointed place sometime ago. The purpose of the arranged meeting was to allow Azman Mokhtar and Danny explained what they have done.

To me it’s simple. What they have done is an unpatriotic act to dismember and cannibalize MAS so that AA alone can prosper. While doing that they make money. It was a sting for some people to make tons of money.

I was also invited to come. But because of the presence of some right wing and morbid bigots, I declined the invitation. Also, I may have been watching the Godfather movie too many times. I remember the Don saying to his son (played by Pacino) to remember that the first person to arrange a meeting between the Corleone family with the other Mafia families, is the traitor!

Some of us are sanctimonious hypocrites about this thing. When Khazanah came out with the idea of aligning shareholders in the infamous share swap we were all singing praises. But some of us were also able to see the end game.

I have written a number of articles about this. I even mocked Bung Mokhtar and his friends who lambasted Azman Mokhtar and Tony F but stopped short of mentioning the other member of the troika because he is the brother of the PM. When I last met the banker, I told him directly that he what he was doing is downright unethical. Hamman, the minister during Paharoh’s time did consulting work only for the Pharoah. The modern Hamman does consulting work for both Paharoah and Moses. We hunt with the dogs and run with the hare.

Despite that, I am not going to take away my admiration that the guy is a workaholic and a good banker. He doesn’t shun away from meeting up and explain his actions. Whether the listener chooses to believe or not is a separate matter and is irrelevant to him. But as far as MAS is concerned, I am less merciful about his role. The whole thing, (this slipped from his own mouth) was planned as early as 2 years ago. Where? While rowing on the rivers Cherwell or Thames in Oxford? Vacationing at the Lake Districts?

When I asked the Oracle last time about the MAS-AA deal, he immediately said it’s an insider trading case. Pure and simple. MAS has to pay more to acquire 10% of AA’s share while MAS own shares dropped. Tony F and friend got MAS shares on the cheap. Investors holding AA shares saw their value dropped just after the so called merger. After the transaction was finished, MAS shares got up again. Tony F and Friend then were able to make another round of financial killing when the shares they got cheap, now went up.

So when Tony F the consummate marketer and bull-shitter carried out his guerrilla tactics by putting up posters( stickers) all over the place denouncing MAHB’s decision to raise airport taxes and so forth- it was actually a simple issue of muscling in. No need to say Tony F bites the finger of his master of whipping the master. These descriptions made his actions looked as a respectable exercise.  There was even a more pathetic dog lapping gesture- imploring the CEO of Asia X to please not call us names. We are hurt you know, because we supported Tony F all the way. See? We are starting to cry.

The real issue here is this and Azman Mokhtar and his band of financial re engineers countenanced this- that the only people who can make money nowadays in Malaysia are the owners of Air Asia. Other people cannot make money too.

I am not going to defend the bosses of MAHB. If they are weak and can’t put their foot down, they are not worth defending. If they are inefficient as bosses of GLCs normally are, remove them. Bashir or no Bashir. Give them the boot. They should be let off to greener pastures. Show us la- you have the balls to compete and defend your turf.

You have a piece of asset that you can capitalize on- the airport and all the services therein. If you have to invest in the best automated system in baggage handling and all other things such as buying tickets by placing your hand phone over reading-machines, you invest in all these things because you can make people pay for all these conveniences. The problem is you are not using the material between your ears to the fullest. And I am not taking about your bulbous noses!

Azman mokhtar will now have a new case to present the PM perhaps through his main backer- the CIMB Boss. Since the people at MAHB don’t know how to run airports maybe in the interest of efficiency, we allow Tony F to make his own airport. Or allow his to acquire shares in MAHB. You will complete the vicious circle them. From airlines to airports.

Better still- make the airport in a god forsaken place- or a far flung place- Tebedu or Gua Musang, just construct a few shed with zinc roofs and people walk across an open field, no tarmac even, no aerobridges, no baggage handling machines, no cargo handling and everyone can fly.  Everyone lugs their baggage and cargo themselves. That will lower costs.

The MAHB can make money through baggage fees and cargo handling. While these items stay on the premises of the airports, airport owners have the right to make money. If they raise the fees unnecessarily, the consumers will vote them out. Now, when these are on the planes, the plane owners make money.

Here the case is, plane owners can make money and want to, airport owners cannot.

Plane owners know baggage fees and cargo handling are significant contributors to the income of their companies.  These are even described as gushing streams by Tony F.  Maybe in private, they are described as squirting streams.

The problem is Tony F doesn’t want Malaysian Airports Holdings Bhd to be part of that “gushing stream”.  Only AA wants monopoly over the squirting sources of revenue. Otherwise plane owners only make money on top of the charges levied by airport owners and Tony F knows that that each cent added to “his”  “gushing stream” means an additional burden on passengers who are then likely to revolt against all charges.  This could in turn lead to a forced scaling back of charges, causing the “gushing stream” to weaken, possibly to a point where AirAsia cash flows will be adversely affected.

When Tony F launches his guerrilla tactics, how are people taking that? Perhaps that feeling is best represented by a short e mail to me, sent by a person using the name of JL.