PETALING JAYA: Suspended Bank Islam chief economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajuddin (pic) today defended his presentation at an economic forum in Singapore earlier this month, rejecting claims that it was unprofessional, biased and partisan.
“I wish to state that the subject of my presentation at the forum was on the Malaysian 2013 economic outlook.
“It was therefore necessary to take into consideration all relevant factors that may have a bearing on the economic situation in 2013 and beyond,” he said in a statement.
He said it was impossible to deny that the results of the 13th general election would have a critical impact on the Malaysian economy.
Stating that he had carried out his analysis based on publicly available information, he said his outlook provided three scenarios: (1) a narrow Barisan Nasional victory; (2) a narrow Pakatan Rakyat victory and (3) a wide Pakatan Rakyat victory.
“I made my analysis professionally, honestly and impartially in accordance with the best practices in the industry after taking into account the factors that ought to be properly included in such an exercise.
“I stand by my analysis and the presentation I made at the forum,” he said.
Azrul’s presentation, especially on his outlook for a potential Pakatan victory, had caused major concern in Malaysia amongst BN supporters and bloggers.
He was then accused by certain BN bloggers and politicians that his presentation that Pakatan could secure a narrow victory in the forthcoming general election was unprofessional and biased.
He was also accused of being a member of PKR.
To add to that, yesterday pro-Umno blogger Ahirudin Attan, who runs a blog called Rocky’s Bru, alleged that Azrul was a mole who supplied Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim with sensitive information.
Bank Islam meanwhile sought to distance itself from its chief economist after the news of his presentation broke out, and shortly afterwards suspended his service indefinitely, citing breach of internal policy.
Responding today, Azrul reiterated that he had given an honest and professional opinion at the forum.
“I believe that there is no proper cause to take disciplinary action against me,” he said.
He expressed disappointment that an opinion that was unfavourable to the ruling party had been sufficient cause for disciplinary action and license for character assassination by certain quarters.
He also warned his detractors that he would not hesitate to commence legal proceedings against them to protect and vindicate his reputation.
His statement however did not address accusations raised by Ahirudin in his blog. Neither did he state anything about the claims of him being a PKR member.