Air Asia: Independent internal inquiry clears Tony, Kamarudin of bribery allegations, posts reinstated

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KUALA LUMPUR —  AirAsia Group Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) appointed BDO Governance Advisory Sdn Bhd to assist in undertaking an independent review on  corruption allegations related to the Airbus scandal against their co-founders Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun.

From the findings, the duo have been cleared and have been reinstated to their posts as group chief executive officer (CEO) and executive chairman of AirAsia respectively.

According to a press release, reference is made to the Company’s announcements on 3 February 2020 and 11 February 2020 on the formation of the Non-Executive Independent Board Committee (“Committee”) and the appointment of BDO Governance Advisory Sdn. Bhd. (“BDO”) as the independent expert in assisting the Committee in undertaking the independent review.

As an update, the Company announced that BDO has on 19 March 2020 presented their report on the findings of the independent internal inquiry conducted by BDO to the Committee.

The Committee has, upon review of the said report from BDO, accepted the final report issued by BDO.

In summary, the findings of BDO are as follows:

  • AirAsia Berhad (“AAB”) has a robust aircraft procurement process. The process was complied with and AAB’s aircraft acquisition was justifiable and at prices favourable to AAB.
  • AAB’s sponsorship of the sports team was approved in compliance with its procedures.
  • The sponsorship of the sports team by Airbus was disclosed to and supported by the Board of Directors of AAB at the relevant time. The sponsorship showed demonstrable benefits to the AirAsia Group and was not linked to any purchase decisions by AAB.
  • The two Executives (Anthony Francis Fernandes and Kamarudin bin Meranun) had properly disclosed their interests to the Board of Directors of AAB and abstained from discussions and/or decisions relating to the said sponsorships.

 

The report has now been presented to and accepted by the Board (which conducted its meeting without the presence of the two Executives) and arising from this, the Board has resolved to reinstate the executive positions of Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin bin Meranun.

Consequently, the appointment of Tharumalingam a/l Kanagalingam as the acting chief executive officer has been rescinded.