Former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has welcomed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation on Sabah Development Bank’s (SDB) decision to provide RM300 million loan to AirAsia Bhd.
Shafie, who was also formerly the state’s finance minister, said AirAsia is a company listed on Bursa Malaysia, and any transaction worth RM300 million would be approved only after all loan conditions had been met by the applicant.
He said as an airline of choice for the people, AirAsia has a development plan that benefited Sabah with the airline targeting to create 100,000 jobs in the state.
“The airline is planning several development projects in Kota Kinabalu, including an agricultural warehouse known as OurFarm in line with its aim of becoming a major distributor of agricultural and fishery products sold through e-commerce,” he said in a statement today.
Shafie said all AirAsia’s plans would certainly benefit Sabah as the state is rich in agricultural and fishery products.
He said with the supply of agricultural products, farmers would be able to generate more income with a wider market at the international level by using AirAsia as an intermediary.
According to him, the transportation system is very important to market agricultural products and AirAsia is prepared to provide flights so that each product could reach its destination quickly before it began to rot.
“In the tourism sector, Sabah’s glory as a tourist attraction will of course return if AirAsia’s target to make the state an international hub becomes a reality,” he said.
Last week, AirAsia Group Bhd confirmed that it had secured a RM300 million loan from SDB and this loan was not backed by a government guarantee.