AirAsia Group’s chief executive officer, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has been recognised with the ‘Nation-Building Lifetime Achievement (Private Sector) Award at the Nation-Building and World Setter Awards 2019 held in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
The award was presented by the Former Prime Minister of Thailand, H.E. General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh to Tan Sri Tony Fernandes at the ceremony. Also present was Chairman of the Nation-Building Institute International (NBII) Prof. Dr. Kriengsak Chareonwongsak.
Winners of this award are selected by an International Selection Committee comprising of 14 international prominent figures and assessment criteria for the Lifetime Achievement Award include factors such as principle alignment, impact, contribution, innovativeness, devotion, and sustainability.
Tan Sri Tony Fernandes commented, “I am very honoured, and at the same time humbled, to receive this award. At AirAsia, the agenda of nation-building is central to our business wherever we operate. In Malaysia, the Shared Prosperity Vision as espoused by the Government is not just something that we embraced, but actually started and created for the past 18 years. We have brought the country closer by enabling everyone to fly, that two-thirds of Malaysians have now flown, be it for tourism, trade, education, humanitarian causes and various other reasons, both domestically and internationally. Before AirAsia, only a small fraction of Malaysians got to fly, while for most other people flying just remained a dream.
“As an employer, we estimate that 78 percent of our 12,000 Allstars in Malaysia were from the B40 background. By giving them endless opportunities to excel and take up new challenges, we are very proud of so many success stories including the highest share of female pilots and engineers in the region, a testament towards our commitment to inclusivity, diversity and sustainability. The spillover effects go beyond the business, employees and their families, to also benefit the whole tourism industry and economy across the regions that we operate in as a whole.”
Among other notable award recipient were Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah who was accorded the Women’s Nation-Building Award.
The Nation-Building and World Setter Awards was part of the two-day International Conference on Nation-Building 2019 with the theme ‘Connecting Government, Business and Civil Society towards the Development of a High Income Nation’, organised by the Bangkok-based Nation-Building Institute International in collaboration with the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) and Centre for Research, Advisory and Technology (CREATE).