'If you want to be the best, we'll give you the opportunity'

Fernandes delivering his speech at the Power Talks series on Saturday

SHAH ALAM: Cultural diversity is the one of the strengths to AirAsia Bhd's success, says the airline supremo Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

The airline, which operates in five countries across Asia, has people from all walks of life and cultures and Fernandes said and any one who has the passion to excel has a chance to do so.

“I don’t care about race, sex, creed, colour or religious affiliations.

“If you want to be the best we will give you the opportunity to be best. We are very proud about that and continue to nurture them,’’ he said at the “Power Talks” series organised by The Star, at the Management and Science University.

He said there was a pilot who had started as an office boy at AirAsia, several women CEOs, a beauty queen who is a pilot at ThaiAirAsia. And the airline which started with no women pilots, now has 52 of them.

“AirAsia is what it is because we have Malays, Chinese, Indians, and others, all working together.

“Now we have become an Asean airline,’’ he adds.

Cultural diversity was also the strength of Malaysia, Fernandes said.

“The strength of Malaysia, that is why I am wearing this thing (#AnakAnakMalaysia wristband), is its multiculturalism.

“In fact, we are the only country in the world with such diversity in cultures.

“The sooner the leaders of the world see this, the better it is for us, and I applaud The Star to raise it at these times. It is the diversity of cultures, people and languages,’’ he adds.

Fernandes is also a strong advocate of nurturing the young to chase their dreams and believes parents should support the children in pursing their dreams.

“I saw so many parents and young people here today and I wanted to tell you that you have one life, and you live in a fantastic country.... this country gave me the opportunity to be what and I am, I grabbed it, and I tell you to grab the opportunities out there.

“If you want to make a change, don’t just talk about it, do something and make a difference,’’ he adds.

He said his mother had a great influence on him and she was his role model.

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