Think Tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) opines that the suspension of Bank Islam’s chief economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin has shown that Bank Islam merely places importance on its political interest rather than protecting the right to freedom of speech of its employees.
Therefore, KPRU urges Bank Islam to review its decision to suspend Azrul Azwar and to restore his position and duties.
Bank Islam’s loss, other banks benefitted
Azrul Azwar has experiences for more than ten years 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) dan Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).
By predicting the outcome of the next general election in favour of Pakatan Rakyat, he has been suspended from his job and facing risk of losing his position as the chief economist at Bank Islam.
KPRU suggests that an indivudual just like Azrul Azwar, the Bank Islam’s chief economist, who is highly experienced in the field of economics, to be regarded as a company asset rather than political enemy. Given that Bank Islam has moved away from the opinion expressed by the Bank Islam’s chief economist Azrul Azwar and thus the suspension of Azrul is indeed an extreme action and does not reflect the professionalism of Bank Islam in dealing with diverse political opinions.
Losing chief economist Azrul Azwar will potentially affect the reputation and credibility of Bank Islam as one of the national financial institution as it might be seen as a political game manipulated by Bank Islam. Thus, losing Azrul Azwar as the chief economist is a great loss for Bank Islam; whilst on the other hand, it might be a gain for other banks as they will probably hire him.
As citizens of Malaysia, Azrul Azwar is granted with right to freedom of speech to voice his opinions. As a financial institution in this country, Bank Islam should be fair to its employees, particularly in terms of handling different political opinions. While Bank Islam failed to be fair and remained neutral, it might only bring harms to itself and appeared as a political tool controlled and manipulated by the ruling party of Barisan Nasional.
 BH, Otak ekonomi Azrul, 11 Jun 2011,