SHAH ALAM, 15 Jan: The action to suspend the duties of Bank Islam’s Chief Economist for predicting BN’s defeat in the upcoming 13th General Elections (GE-13) is deemed ridiculous and totally inappropriate.
The officer, Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin, who spoke at a seminar in Singapore last week, allegedly predicted that BN will narrowly lose in GE-13 by obtaining 97 to 107 seats compared to 140 seats won in the last general elections.
Believing that there have been pressure from political powers, PKR Communication Director, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad when contacted said that the move also tarnishes the credibility of professionals in the field of economics and country politics.
“He was just carrying out his duties in giving an analysis in terms of economics and politics, and because his presentation was biased against BN, he was suspended from his duties.
“As a professional, I believe the duty and integrity of his work is not for the satisfaction of BN.
“However, his job is to carry out his duties as an economist transparently and truthfully without prejudice to anyone or any party,” stressed Nik Nazmi who was contacted by telephone.
He added that if BN does not agree with the research and analysis conducted by the Bank Islam Economist, BN should return with a presentation of other analysis deemed appropriate.
“But to force Bank Islam to suspend his duties is an improper action and immature,” he added.
In other developments, Azrul Azwar is still shocked in confirming that the suspension of his duties if for an unspecified period for alleged ‘serious misconduct’.
He also did not rule out the possibility of resigning in the interest of the employer seeing that his employer is now under pressure from the top BN leadership.
The Political Studies for Change (KPRU) think tank in its press statement said that Bank Islam is urged to review the decision of suspending Azrul Azwar and to restore his position and duties.
“Azrul Azwar has more than ten years of experience in the field of economics.
“He has served as an analyst at Meridian Asset Management Sdn Bhd, RHB Bank, Malaysia Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB),” said KPRU.
KPRU said that the think tank suggests that an individual such as Azrul Azwar who is highly experienced in the field of economics should be lifted of his suspension and treated as an asset and not a political enemy.