There was a lot of hoopla then, about how the deal with Sir Richard Branson was sealed with a handshake and a number scratched on a napkin (signed off by Cheong Choong Kong, thanks, anon@12/12/2012 10:11 AM). Chew Choon Seng, who paid a huge price for a pittance of the profits, relinquished his position as Chief Executive Officer of SIA at the end of 2010 and assumed the post of Chairman at Singapore Exchange (SGX) and board member of Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC). It is a tragic tale not to be regaled any time soon, at least not in the mainstream media.
Barely 3 months ago in October 2012, SIA announced it will buy a 10 percent stake in Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd for A$105 million (S$109 million) to compete with Qantas Airways Ltd in the lucrative Australian market, an effort also interpreted by some to deal with its troubled budget associate, Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd. Shares in Tiger Airways, 33 percent owned by SIA, were suspended after the carrier reported a S$18 million second-quarter net loss. The troubled airline had just won back a full operating license that particular month after fixing safety faults that had caused Australian regulators to ground the carrier last year. Chew was fingered for not intervening in the operations of Tiger Airways, which led to the carrier's grounding in 2011.
Well, we might still survive the prediction of doom for 21/12/2012 yet, the supposed end of the Mayan calendar. Jose Manrique Esquivel, a descendant of the Maya, said his community in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula sees the date as a celebration of their survival despite centuries of genocide and oppression. Our own worries are surviving wildcat strikes by Chinese nationals, insults by Pinoys working at Seagate, bus fare increases foretold by the transport minister. Don't pop the champagne too soon, doomsday may just have been postponed.