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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs             26  July 2011

AirAsia remains in Malaysia

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In an about face AirAsia Bhd headquarters will remain rooted in Malaysia though a representative office will be set up in Jakarta to drive the Asean integration agenda.

This contradicts a Monday report that had Air Asia moving its corporate headquarters to Jakarta.

“Nothing changes. AirAsia's head office is in Malaysia and our listing is on Bursa Malaysia,'' AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said in an SMS from London yesterday.

He said the office in Jakarta was “just a regional office to build relationships with the Asean Secretariat (which is also) located in Jakarta (and) to work towards a one Asean sky and aviation authority like Europe's joint aviation authority.''

He added that Malaysian companies had to plan ahead for the Asean economic integration and the carrier just like other Malaysian companies was planning ahead (by setting up an office in Jakarta).

“The benefits to Malaysia of an Asean economic community is huge and Malaysian companies should be in the forefront of this,'' he said.

This affirmation follows “the wave of hysteria'' that was sparked after he made a statement in Tokyo on Friday that the carrier would establish “a regional office in Jakarta.''

Though he claims that “some press were just being mischievious'' in assuming his statement meant that the airline's head office would move from Malaysia to Jakarta. He and AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani were seen furiously yesterday trying to put into perspective what was said in Tokyo.

The reports, some from Indonesia, had sparked a conversation on the social networks yesterday and many people jumped to give their views via Twitter and Facebook, AirAsia has joint ventures in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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