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We have put Malaysia on the world map and we are investing in its future – Tony Fernandes

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From the desk of Tony Fernandes

Malindo’s entry into Malaysia shows that the future of the region’s aviation industry is Asean.

Tapping into a combined market of 600 million people is a no-brainer, and I’m proud to say AirAsia was ahead of the pack when it chose to open a regional office in Jakarta to pursue this goal.

This is something right-wing bloggers fail to understand, preferring instead to cling to outmoded notions of borders in a borderless world.

Moving to Jakarta also means my successor in Malaysia, Aireen, has a free hand to do what’s needed to make the operation there a success. Otherwise, she would never be able to grow as a leader.

And I don’t want to be like some who insist on calling the shots long after they’ve handed over the reins.

Being out of Malaysia is a necessary part of AirAsia’s succession plan, and it is a sacrifice Datuk Kamaruddin and I are willing to make. This a continuation of the dream the two of us had over a decade ago when we started AirAsia with nothing more than two aircraft and a dream.

Since then, AirAsia has grown into the biggest budget carrier in Asia and a globally recognised brand, winning the Skytrax award for best low-cost carrier in the world four years in a row now.

Under Tune Group, we have also set up Epsom College as part of the Kuala Lumpur Education City (KLEC) so young Malaysians can experience world-class education. We’ve spent RM150 million building the campus in Bandar Enstek as part of our continuing commitment to education.

I also sit on a panel tasked with laying out a new education blueprint for future generations of Malaysians to ensure that we can build truly global Malaysians and stay competitive as a nation.

We have put Malaysia on the world map and we are investing in its future. So how can these right-wing bloggers say that I’ve abandoned Malaysia? What have they done for the country?