Probe AirAsia graft allegations, Transparency International Malaysia tells SC

Two ‘executives’ of AirAsia and AirAsia X have been mentioned in legal documents listing instances of bribery by Airbus.

PETALING JAYA: Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) has urged the Securities Commission (SC) to probe AirAsia and AirAsia X over corruption allegations implicating Airbus and two executives of the budget airlines.

TI-M president Muhammad Mohan said this was necessary as both companies were listed entities.

“This is a matter of public interest,” he said in a statement.

Muhammad also said the two companies should carry out their own independent investigation into the matter.

Yesterday, Britain’s The Telegraph reported that two “executives” at AirAsia and AirAsia X had been mentioned in legal documents which listed instances of bribery by Airbus to secure contracts through corrupt middlemen to sell its aircraft worldwide.

The documents are part of a multi-billion dollar settlement reached with anti-graft authorities in Britain, France and the United States, after the European plane maker admitted to “endemic levels of bribery across its international business”, the report said.

Citing documents attached to the settlement, it said Airbus paid US$50 million (RM204 million), and offered US$55 million (RM225 million) more, to sponsor a sports team linked to two unnamed “key decision-makers” at AirAsia and AirAsia X.

In a statement last night, AirAsia “vigorously” denied and rejected all claims of wrongdoing and said it will cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the matter.

MACC had said it will be investigating and was in touch with the British authorities.

Muhammad also said the allegations against the budget airlines prove that the corporate liability provision, which is part of the MACC Act, is badly needed.

The provision will come into effect in June.

“It is to ensure good governance in all commercial organisations in Malaysia, while the companies and the directors must be accountable to put in adequate procedures to mitigate corruption risk,” he said.