The Transport Ministry is probing how financially-troubled MYAirline was granted the air service licence (ASL) in 2022

Anthony said the licence was given back in 2022 when he was not appointed as Minister yet. “I was not responsible at that particular point of time. When I took over, MyAirline was already in the first few days of operation,” he said.

The Transport Ministry is investigating on how the air service licence (ASL) was granted to the financially-troubled MYAirline Sdn Bhd in 2022.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook has taken the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to task for giving out the licence.

“Whether or not they have gone through a proper process and procedure, that is something that we need further investigation.

“This is definitely something that Mavcom has to be answerable. They have to be accountable in terms of the process of granting the (ASL) licence,” LOke told reporters after officiating Batik Air Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s codeshare partnership with Emirates here today.

The procedure prior to registering a company as an air service operator in Malaysia starts with applying for an ASL from Mavcom before applying for an air operator certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

Mavcom is tasked to review and analyse the air service operator’s financial and commercial plan while CAAM is responsible over the operator’s technical aspect.

In order to obtain an ASL, the owner, shareholders and board of directors of an air service operator will have to go through Mavcom’s Fit and Proper Person guidelines to see whether the accountable persons are fit to invest in an airline in Malaysia.

The guidelines are issued by Mavcom pursuant to section 98A(1) of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (Act 771) where Mavcom carries out the assessment on the key responsible persons of an airline or aviation service company.

The key responsible persons listed are the board of directors, senior management team, any other person who directly or indirectly holds 10 per cent of more share of the company.

 It also includes persons who have the power to make business or administration decisions and any other key person as may be determined by Mavcom.

 In its Guideline on Fit and Proper Person, Mavcom will “assess the fitness and propriety of a person in the following areas – probity, reputation and integrity; competency and capability; and financial integrity.”

“The commission will also look into past behaviour as insight into a person’s future conduct,” stated Mavcom in its guideline.

MYAirline’s majority shareholder and owner Datuk Goh Hwan Hua has been on the authorities’ radar for the past two years for alleged dubious activities including alleged scams and money laundering.

 He is the director of Zillion Wealth Bhd and Trillion Cove Holdings Bhd – two companies that holds 88 per cent and 10 per cent equity stake in the carrier.

 In May this year, Trillion Cove was involved in a money laundering case where former Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) CEO Datuk Mohamad Madani Sahari was charged 12 counts of money laundering amounting to RM1.038 million at the Alor Setar Sessions Court in Kedah.

 Madani has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

 Goh also holds 31.75 per cent stake in i-Serve Online Mall Sdn Bhd based on SSM data as at Sept 13. 2023.

 i-Serve Online, a payment getaway company, is one of the seven companies that were fined RM50 million by Bank Negara Malaysia for accepting deposits without a license.

On Oct 12, Mavcom said it was investigating MYAirline based on internal reviews and complaints received regarding the carrier’s unpaid statutory payments to its employees, among others.

 On Oct 18, the Malaysian police confirmed the arrest of Goh as well as his wife Datin Neow Ean Lee and son Goh Tze Han.

All three were detained to assist in an investigation under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

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