Friday, October 23, 2020

Malaysian PM dismisses bribery allegations linking AirAsia to Airbus scandal


The Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad said today that payments to offset high-value orders could not be considered bribes.

Mahathir was responding to questions from reporters on a controversial sponsorship deal the owners of Air Asia struck with plane maker Airbus.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said last week as it concluded a €3.6bn (£3bn) global fraud settlement with Airbus, that the European plane giant had bribed Air Asia executives to win orders.

Prosecutors alleged Airbus paid a bribe of $50m (£39m) through sponsorship of the now-defunct Caterham F1 team which was owned by Air Asia chief executive and Queens Park Rangers co-owner Tony Fernandes.

- Advertisement -

Fernandes and Air Asia executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin bin Meranun have stepped aside from their roles until the accusations are investigated. They both deny wrongdoing.

Mahathir said he would not comment on the accusations, but said in high-value deals it was common to ask for an offset.

“Often when governments buy equipment, we always ask for an offset…If we can get something because we buy something at a high price, why can’t we accept it?” he said.

“If the money we get is pocketed, that is corruption. But if that money is for a certain purpose, it would be an offset instead of a bribe. That’s my view,” he added.

- Advertisement -

Malaysian authorities have also said they are launching their own investigations into the SFO’s claims.

The allegations come as the Malaysian government evaluates a proposal from Air Asia to partner with struggling national carrier Malaysia Airlines.

Prime-minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim said Air Asia would have to resolve the corruption case if the airline wanted to continue contending for a partnership.

“You can’t expect us to consider an entity, when allegations are still there. They have to clear that first to be fair, otherwise we’ll be seen to be complicit,” he said


Goldman Sachs executives to cover part payments of $3 billion fines in 1MDB scandal

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over...

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleads guilty in foreign agent case linked to 1MDB

Major Republican Party and Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty Tuesday to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, admitting to accepting millions...

Latest News

This Week

Ex-managers of Security firm pleads guilty in Santa Clara County concealed gun permit bribery scandal

Two former managers of a Silicon Valley international security firm pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a bribery scheme to obtain concealed firearms...

Judge opposed dismissal of bribery charge against former Portage mayor Synder

A judge denied Thursday two motions to dismiss a soliciting bribes charge former Portage Mayor James Snyder will be retried on, according to court...

Ex-CEO of dietary supplement maker USPLabs sentenced to prison in fraud case

They wanted to lose weight and get stronger to boost their military careers. But after taking USPLabs' dietary supplements – with ingredients made in...

Attorney General Dave Yost subpoenaed in Ohio bribery scandal

Federal officials investigating the House Bill 6 bribery scandal subpoenaed records from Attorney General Dave Yost’s office the day before arresting then-House Speaker Larry Householder and...

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks