Malaysia — AirAsia’s top man may be finding it hard to be a wealthy person in these pandemic times, as commenters online got somewhat salty with their remarks after Tony Fernandes posed with a Tesla in a recent Instagram post.
On Tuesday (Aug 31), which happened to be Malaysia’s National Day, Mr Fernandez posed in front of a white Tesla Model Y.
In Malaysia, which is reeling from the economic fallout of the pandemic, this model costs MYR 199,960, or over S$64,500.
Many Malaysians are struggling amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and one campaign to shed light on the hunger numerous Malaysians are experiencing has got international attention.
So, it may be quite understandable that netizens called Mr Fernandes out on what they perceived as an ostentatious display of wealth amid people’s suffering.
This may be why the AirAsia CEO changed his IG caption to clarify that the Tesla was a rental, and not his own vehicle.
The original caption, as captured by one Twitter user, read “Independence Day. Going green. No more gasoline. Gone electric. Tesla model Y. Love it.”
Mr Fernandes’ post had gone viral, getting over 15,000 likes.
However, a number of netizens called him out.
“Employee on pay cut boss having a great time,” wrote one alexander.antone.
Mr Fernandes then edited his post to read, “Independence Day. Going green. No more gasoline. Gone electric. Rented Tesla model Y. Love it.”
However, aside from editing his post, the AirAsia CEO also reportedly removed comments on IG.
Twitter commenters proved to be unforgiving of the AirAsia CEO, with one writing that staff, who had been furloughed, as well as customers waiting for refunds, are unhappy.
“Showing a more humble life wouldn’t have hurt,’ they added.
“So true. While he is entitled to enjoy his riches, it’s not nice to show off at this time, especially when his own staff are let go. And we all know how badly customer refunds are handled,” answered another Twitter user.
More than one person wrote that he needed to read the room, or get a feel for what people are experiencing these days.
Some even commented on Mr Fernandes’ changeable political loyalties.