“If you are given the position to make a change, or create influence, you should,” says AirAsia chief executive officer Riad Asmat on Twentytwo13’s Fight For Change 2019 mixed martial arts charity event on Nov 23 at Cobra Rugby Club, Petaling Jaya.
AirAsia is a silver sponsor for Fight For Change 2019 – aimed at raising funds for journalists under the National Press Club’s Journalist Welfare Fund and also the Malaysia Mixed Martial Arts Association’s youth development programmes.
There will be seven bouts leading to the main event between Twentytwo13 co-founder and editor Haresh Deol who will take on professional fighter Shareh ‘The Jeneral’ Nasrullah of Lekir Fitness & MMA Academy in a caged fight.
Riad said it was apt for AirAsia to be part of Fight For Change 2019 as the event is aimed at changing the way people view things.
“It is great what you (Twentytwo13) are doing as you are trying to change perception – you are trying to change the view on mixed martial arts (MMA) as well as to raise awareness about the welfare of journalists.
“I was thinking why Haresh would want to do this as it will not be an easy fight … but who knows, maybe he has it in him to be a fighter, so we look forward to seeing how he fares against Shareh,” said Riad of Haresh who has no experience in fighting but initiated the idea of fighting a professional in a bid to raise funds for journalists in the country, many of whom have lost their jobs in recent months.
Riad commended the initiative, hoping others would be inspired to bring about changes for causes dear to them.
“AirAsia has always been a keen supporter in sports, including MMA, while our journalist friends have long been one of the key agents of change for everything AirAsia has done for over 18 years.”
He added everyone from all walks is always fighting for change, one way or another, AirAsia included.
“We have been fighting for change for the past 18 years – from spearheading trends in low-cost travel to e-commerce, changing the perception that low-cost travel is actually high in value and quality,” he said, adding the company has also been fighting for lower passenger service charge.
The airline has been a strong supporter of sports right from the grassroots.
“We truly believe there is an abundance of talent in Southeast Asia, and the only thing they lack is opportunity.”
An avid cyclist, Riad shared how AirAsia has been supporting athletes over the years.
“We have been committed to building these talents through our #DareToDream campaign and it reflects AirAsia’s continuous commitment to improve the local sports scene for youths to express their passion and skills and at the same time supporting Malaysian athletes at all levels with a single goal in mind … that is to put the nation on the world map,” he shared.
Local athletes who have received a boost from AirAsia include Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustapa (cycling), Leong Mun Yee (diving), Liew Darren (badminton) and Muizzyddin Musyaffa (go-kart), Faiz Ariffin (bodybuilding). The airline also supports Australian Tai Tuivasa (UFC heavyeight champion) and British swimmer Ben Proud.
Co-organised by Twentywo13 and the Malaysia Mixed Martial Arts Association and supported by the National Press Club, Fight For Change 2019 begins at 5pm.
Tickets for Fight For Change 2019 are being sold at RM50 each. To buy the tickets or be part of the cause, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.