The company’s commercial director Jasmine Lee claimed MAHB had told airline staff to remove the “Say No to Airport Tax Increase” stickers on their uniform. She claimed that the airport operator also removed posters at their sales counters at LCCT.
“They even went to the check-in counters and told our staff not to wear the stickers and to stop sticking them on passengers’ boarding passes.
“We have sent an official warning letter to request that MAHB’s officers stop unlawfully obstructing our staff from doing their jobs,” she said, adding that the incident occurred from around 10am until lunchtime yesterday.
AirAsia is protesting against the decision by MAHB to increase the airport tax by RM7 and RM14 at five airports nationwide which took effect yesterday.
The airports are Langkawi International Airport, Penang International Airport, Kuching International Airport, Terminal 2, Kota Kinabalu International Airport and the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) at KLIA.
Lee also alleged that MAHB confiscated security tags from some staff working in restricted areas.
“This incident will not deter us. We will continue to wear the stickers tomorrow and will put back the posters,” she said.
AirAsia CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes later tweeted: “Malaysian airport staff tearing down our posters and taking away airport passes of our staff. And using intimidation. Can someone tell them this is Malaysia and not a police state.”
MAHB senior general manager for operations Datuk Azmi Murad, who was present during the incident, denied any harassment or intimidation took place but admitted they removed the posters.
“They were putting the posters in public areas and we took them down. Imagine if anyone could just walk in and start putting posters everywhere,” he said.
AirAsia has taken a full-page advertisement in The Star, urging the public to call MAHB and give their opinion on the increase in airport tax.
“AirAsia views this increase as not justified as the current airport facilities are not up to par,” said the advertisement.