AirAsia, AAX appoint independent expert to assist in review of bribery claims

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 12, 2020.
-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Group Bhd and its sister company AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) announced separately yesterday that an independent expert had been appointed to assist in a review related to allegations of corruption against their executives.

In particular, AirAsia said the appointment of BDO Governance Advisory Sdn Bhd was done by its non-executive independent board committee.

The appointment of the advisory firm is to “assist the committee in undertaking the review”, it added.

On Feb 3, both AirAsia and AAX said they had formed their respective non-executive independent board committees made up of non-executive members of their boards of directors.

The main objective of the independent board committees is to review the allegations against the companies and to take any necessary action based on the review.

AirAsia and AAX were mentioned in a UK court document which alleged Airbus SE of bribing two executives of the companies with some US$50 million (RM207 million) in exchange for purchasing Airbus aircraft.

Airbus allegedly provided the kickbacks in the form of sponsorship of a sports team owned by the two executives, which was reported to be the Caterham F1 racing team previously owned by AirAsia co-founders Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun.

The duo have categorically denied all allegations and relinquished all executive roles in AirAsia for two months or a period deemed fit by AirAsia, amid the ongoing probe that now involves Malaysian authorities.

Last Thursday, The Edge Financial Daily reported that independent directors of AirAsia and AAX had been summoned by the Securities Commission Malaysia and Bursa Malaysia over the bribery allegations.