Owner of airline no stranger to controversy


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 28 Jul 2016

Selling point: Lai is seen promoting the development on Monspace Sands Island in a video uploaded on Youku.com. The island is located near Langkawi.

PETALING JAYA: Two years after making the news with a controversial multi-level marketing scheme, Datuk Seri Jessy Lai is running into another turbulence with Monspace Sky Airline.

She is the owner of the airline, which has been in the limelight for purportedly having violated several aviation regulations.

The Malaysian Aviation Com­mission (Mavcom) lodged a police report against the airline and the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) issued a show-cause letter to Monspace for operating a commercial flight without an Air Service Permit (ASP).

Amid the accusations, Lai defended herself, claiming the flights were sanctioned by the DCA.

The Transport Ministry said it had received complaints that the airline was operating commercially, with sources claiming Monspace issued boarding passes during its maiden flight last Friday.

In 2014, Lai was a senior distributor and press liaison of Yun Shu Mao – better known as YSLM or CDTUP in Malaysia – which was a multi-level marketing company started by Chinese national Zhang Jian.

Zhang made headlines after huge signboards of him as the self-proclaimed “future richest person in the world” were put up in Penang two years ago.

Lai reportedly said YSLM had “changed her life” thanks to “big brother Zhang” who helped her gain wealth and fame.

However, the Domestic Trade, Coopera­tives and Consumerism Ministry said the companies under Zhang were not registered under the Companies Com­mission, and investigations showed that Zhang came to Malaysia to set up a get-rich-quick pyramid scheme through YSLM.

The ministry ordered a crackdown in July 2014 on all of YSLM’s branches and seized all assets belonging to Zhang.

Despite that, Lai was adamant that YSLM was a legal business, blaming the media for a coordinated attack against the company.

She claimed the company was severely affected by the unfair reports which had caused many of its members to lose confidence and pull out.

China Press quoted Lai saying that if they were con men like what the media reported, they would not have returned the money to members who wanted to pull out of the scheme.

The ministry’s crackdown failed to locate Zhang.

It was through a video call made by Lai on Aug 1, 2014, that the media finally got to speak with the mastermind behind YSLM.

A bold Zhang revealed that he was in Bangkok and said he would not return to Malaysia to face the authorities here.

He said YSLM was declared to be illegal in China but he continued operating there and would likewise do the same in Malaysia.

Zhang was arrested by Thai authorities in October 2014 for allegedly duping nearly RM1bil out of people in China and Malaysia.

What is more telling is that elements of YSLM were found on Monspace Sky Airline. Sin Chew Daily reported that the plane’s table-trays had pictures of Zhang pasted on them.

Circulating on WeChat were also brochures promoting Monspace Sky Airline’s trip for tourists from China to Langkawi, which prominently featured Zhang holding two thumbs up.

When contacted, Lai refused to comment on the allegations made against her and her airline.

“We have had a lot of publicity in the past week. Please be patient and wait for the official statement from Suasa Air Sdn Bhd,” she said, adding that the statement was likely to be released this week.

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