KUALA LUMPUR — Feb. 3,2020: AirAsia Group Berhad (AAGB) executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes will relinquish their executive positions effective immediately for two months or such other period the company may deem fit following an Airbus bribery probe.
In view of the current difficult economic circumstances facing the airline industry, a non-executive independent board committee formed by the group’s board has however decided to retain them as company advisors during the two months. The committee comprises non-executive board members.
On the recommendation of the committee, Tharumalingam Kanagalingam has been appointed acting CEO of the group in the interim, said a filing to Bursa Malaysia reported Bernama.
Kamarudin and Fernandes will be redesignated non-independent non-executive board members.
In a separate statement, both Kamarudin and Fernandes categorically denied any and all allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct on their part as AirAsia directors.
Their contention is that the Airbus deferred prosecution agreement and contents were arrived at without any reference to them.
“Neither were any explanations sought from us. This is in clear violation of fundamental legal principles of fairness. We would not harm the very companies that we spent our entire lives building up to their present global status.
“So, as to facilitate a full and independent investigation by AirAsia, we are relinquishing our executive roles with immediate effect for a period of two months, or such other period that the companies may deem fit,” they said.
Both AAGB and AirAsia X shares plunged in active trade after the report on the probe surfaced.
At today’s close of trading, AirAsia Group lost 15 sen or 10.49 per cent while AirAsia X dipped one sen or 7.69 per cent.
The Securities Commission Malaysia has said it will examine the statement of facts in the case of Regina vs Airbus SE which mentioned several allegations against both companies.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission also initiated an investigation into the allegations.