Yesterday, 13 May, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz came in defence of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes shortly after he apologised for pledging his support to Barisan Nasional (BN) ahead of GE14
In a lengthy Facebook post, Rafidah confirmed that Tony's actions came as a result of pressure from the Prime Minister's Office due to her increased involvement in Pakatan Harapan's campaign
"The truth must be told, the AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) chairman wrote, before revealing that Tony and his co-founder Datuk Seri Kamaruddin Meranun had conveyed to her a message from Datuk' Seri Najib Razak's "operatives" to "stop attacking the then PM".
"I am chairman of AAX. The insinuation was if I persisted, then there will be 'consequences'," she said.
After offering to resign to reduce some of the pressure, "They both responded with a big no. 'We love you' -- those were Tony's words. I was touched," she explained.
"However, not known to me, Tony got the ultimate 'treatment' for his failure to 'make me resign'", Rafidah said. According to her, he was "practically publicly crucified" for his efforts.
"We all know the narrative. Tony did not not tell me that he was trying so hard to 'placate' the [then] PM and his 'all powerful' operatives. He knew I would veto it," she wrote.
"His 'mistake was [in] not telling me [about the plane]. He got a private whacking from me already for that. Nothing personal... only for that error in judgement, or as I told him, his 'stupidity'," Rafidah said.
Rafidah expressed her gratitude towards the AirAsia Group chief and the AirAsia team for "taking the hit for me"
She said that, "Because he knew I was doing the right thing and at the same time, he needed to stop 'them' from tightening further screws on where it would hurt most – AirAsia and AAX of which I am chairman."
Under the new government, Rafidah said that she is confident that AirAsia would be operating in a more business-friendly environment, with constraints faced by the aviation industry to be "eased and removed"
"Let us look ahead, with positivity, and let us put the upsets triggered by the past government way behind us. AirAsia will, God willing, be flying in clearer skies from now on," she added.
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