Updated: Air Asia's Din Meranun on the unwinding of the share swap deal ("to remove any distraction to ongoing efforts") and on his continued belief in collaboration ("(It) has brought MAS and Air Asia closer together")
Inevitably, today Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia unwind their share swap deal made last August. The swap's cancelled. Deal rescinded.
"A rose, by any name, smells just as sweet," a lawmaker who has been against the share swap from Day One told me.
Indeed, the majority of MAS employees are said to be partying or holding kenduri doa selamat. They see the announcement as a big Workers' Day gift to them from the government.
Tony Fernandez will be out of MAS Board. So will Kamaruddin Meranun, his partner in Air Asia. Danny, who was made MAS COO after the swap, may most probably go as well.
But the comprehensive collaborative framework (CCF) that binds the two airlines remains intact.
Will it work?
Ahmad Jo, the man brought in to turn MAS around following the swap, has a great opportunity to show what he has in terms of transformation plans for the national carrier.
But like YB Wee Choo Keong said in his tweet yesterday, "AJ must be his own man".
What the YB means, I think, is that AJ must lead and cannot be taking the cue from others, especially not Tony, Kamaruddin, Danny, or Khazanah's Azman Mokhtar.
He must put the interest of MAS and the flag before everything else. Above Air Asia's. Above Air Asia X's.
Easier said than done.
Big Dog, one of the biggest critics of the share swap, gives an early thumbs' up to the new deal in Synergizing Comprehensive Collaboration Framework. Syed Akbar Ali won't rest until the Government sacks "the Khazanah idiot" in Robbery at MAS.