AirAsia X chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said the long-haul budget airliner will not pull out its advertisements from Utusan Malaysia despite the recent "threat" to do so by its chief executive officer (CEO) Azran Osman Rani.
The former senior member of Cabinet said the remarks made by Azran were
personal in nature as they were made via the latter’s social media
accounts and should not be considered as an official view of the
“It was his personal view and it has
nothing to do with AirAsia X,” Rafidah said, adding that as far as she
is concerned, the issue has never been discussed by the company’s
Azran had recently said that Utusan Malaysia is racist for publishing a front-page article entitled ‘Apa lagi Cina mahu? (What else the Chinese wants?)”.
In his Facebook account, Azran wrote: “I am Malaysian. I am anti-racism. I am disgusted by Utusan's editorial stance”.
In his Twitter account, he claimed
that Utusan is no longer relevant due to ‘narrow-minded’ stance adopted
by the editorial and further said that AirAsia X will pull out its
advertisements from the Malay-language paper.
Utusan reported that Azran had tweeted: "Utusan sudah lama tidak relevan. Jumlah pembaca merosot kerana minda pengarang sempit. Utusan tidak mewakili Melayu Malaysia ,(Utusan
has long been irrelevant. Its readership had dwindled due to its
narrow-minded editors. Utusan does not represent Malays in Malaysia)"
Following this Azran was heavily
criticised for being selective as he had not said anything about some
Chinese-language newspapers which had published racist contents.
Meanwhile, Rafidah said even though
it was only Azran’s personal view, the statement was inappropriate since
it involved the company’s policy.
“In this country, people have
freedom to say (anything)… but what they want to say should not involve
government or private sector’s policy,” Rafidah said further.
Blogger Fatimah Zuhri has questioned Azran’s stance for calling Utusan racist and for being rather ignorant towards editorial slant adopted by certain vernacular papers.
Calling him as the new member of
‘Self-Hating Malay Club’, Fatimah in wrote, with much sarcasm, that
Azran should remember how he managed to achieve his current position as
“Please tell the gullible Malays
the truth (that) you have never received any help from the Evil Darth
Vader cum Saruman government which is BN. Tell them that you manage to
study at Stanford because of the magical money tree behind your parents’
“Tell them that you became
Senior Vice President (Policy & Development) at the corrupted BN
owned KLSE because you are super-duper Einstein-like mind, not because
Malay (former KLSE Chairman) gave you a chance.
“You did not join ASTRO - a
company owned by (former Prime Minister Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad)’s
crony. Instead, Utusan Malaysia had cloned you and put your clone there,” she wrote.
Pro-opposition news portals reported yesterday that Azran explained his remarks were blown out of proportion and refused to comment further on the issue.