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Election 2013: Branson stunt raises transgender issues ahead of Malaysia poll

It started as a Formula One bet between two entrepreneurs and could end up highlighting human rights abuses against Malaysia’s transgender community ahead of the May 5 national election.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

13th May 2013 03:16

Alessia Valenza

Three years ago Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson made a bet that his Formula 1 Racing team would finish ahead of the team backed by AirAsia X boss Tony Fernandes. Whoever’s team lost would have to serve as a flight attendant on one of the other airline’s flights.

The teams finished with no points, but better race finishing positions meant Fernandes won the bet. Being busy men it has taken three years for them to confirm a date for the cross-dressing antics and now Branson will honour the bet by  donning a dress to work as a flight attendant on AirAsia X’s inaugural May 12 flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur.

“The day of reckoning for Sir Richard has finally arrived,” Fernandes told journalists. “As an AirAsia X’s flight attendant, he has to comply with our grooming standards and that includes shaving his legs, donning high heels, putting on some makeup and slipping into the AirAsia’s famous red uniform.”

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