The Straits Times
Published on Jan 15, 2013

Bank Islam suspends offical for predicting outcome of Malaysia's polls


KUALA LUMPUR - The chief economist of a private bank owned by a government linked fund has been suspended from his duties apparently due to a forecast made at a recent public forum in Singapore that the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition would lose in the next general elections.

Bank Islam's Mr Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin was suspended from his duties on Jan 14, four days after he said the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition would eke a narrow win in Malaysia's upcoming general elections, due to be called by April 28.

Speaking to The Straits Times on Tuesday, Mr Azrul said he was called in by the management for a "chit-chat" session to explain his prediction of the country's election outcome at the forum, and then told of his suspension. He said the management did not state how long the suspension would be.

"This is totally uncalled for," Mr Azrul said. "I have presented my findings without bias and the research was done professionally in my capacity as the chief economist of the bank."