MANILA, Philippines - Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia helped transport army troops sent to evict Filipinos from their standoff in Sabah on Tuesday, March 5.
The move triggered an online debate in Malaysia on whether it highlights the company's patriotism or the military's lack of resources.
"Flights are rearranged today as we are helping the army transfer staff to East Malaysia. Pls be patient," prominent tycoon and airline CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted on Monday night, March 4.
Flights are rearranged today as we are helping the army transfer staff to East Malaysia. Pls be patient. RT ... m.tmi.me/Mr9Ri — Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) March 3, 2013
A second tweet from Fernandes showed a picture of soldiers waiting to board a commercial aircraft.
"As mentioned please be patient with some flight arrangements on flights as we are helping the army," the AirAsia CEO added.
As mentioned please be patient with some flight arrangements on flights as we are helping the army twitter.com/tonyfernandes/… — Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) March 3, 2013
Fernandes' decision to help the Malaysian army launch the assault on the Filipinos sparked mixed reactions online.
A few Malaysians were surprised that the army did not mobilize their own C-130 Hercules planes and wondered why the military needed help from a commercial airline to transport soldiers to Sabah.
[ View the story "Against AirAsia flying troops to Sabah" on Storify ]
Other netizens praised AirAsia for its patriotism in assisting the armed forces and stepping up to help the army at a crucial time.
[ View the story "Praise for AirAsia's move" on Storify ]