Home Civil Society Voices 2013 Civil Society Voices Bank Islam acts unprofessionally, unjustly in suspending Azrul Azwar

Bank Islam acts unprofessionally, unjustly in suspending Azrul Azwar

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Fifty-six civil society groups and 126 individuals have endorsed a joint statement calling for the reinstatement of the suspended Chief Economist of Bank Islam, Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin.

Graphic: Malaysian Digest
Graphic: Malaysian Digest
We, the undersigned organisations and individuals, call on Bank Islam to reinstate its Chief Economist, Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin, who has been suspended for presenting an analysis based on computer simulation which projects a probability weighted base-case scenario of Pakatan Rakyat’s victory in the 13th general elections.

We hold that Bank Islam has acted unprofessionally, unjustly and without any basis by reportedly punishing Mr Azrul Azwar for his professional opinion, presented at the Regional Outlook Forum on 10 January 2013.

We understand that the economist had also generated a best-case scenario of a Barisan Nasional’s narrow win and a worst-case scenario of the ruling coalition’s big loss. For the record, no party has produced any methodical rebuttal to his analysis.

Consistent with the view of financial regulators and academics worldwide, we stress that information freedom is pertinent to the resource allocation mechanism of the financial markets. Freedom of expression and freedom of information are the best way to expose and correct any falsehood or misinformation. Analyses on elections and their economic and financial consequences are clearly of paramount importance for the markets and the country.

Hence, biased information results in unjust allocation and distorts the integrity of the markets.

By allegedly suppressing Mr Azrul Azwar’s professional opinion that was unfavourable to Barisan Nasional, maliciously labelled as “political comments”, Bank Islam is admitting that the Bank has a policy of reporting only Barisan Nasional-favourable news.

It cannot be argued that Mr Azrul Azwar’s behaviour is reckless as his analysis has had no market impact and the FBMKLCI has barely moved – closed at 1684.57 on 10 January 2013 and 1682.95 on 16 January 2013. Besides, the basic tenet of banking and finance is assessing risks (be it political, economics), and that was what Mr Azrul Azwar did.
We call upon Bank Islam to immediately reinstate Mr Azrul Azwar to his position and manage its business professionally.

We also urge the BN government to join our call for Bank Islam to reinstate him. This will prove beyond doubt that the BN government has not pressured Bank Islam to suspend Mr Azrul Azwar and PM Najib Razak is genuinely committed to reform.

As of 8.00am, 19 January 2013:

Endorsing organisations

1. Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
2. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
3. Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
4. Bersih 3.0 Bangkok
5. Bersih Geneva
6. Bersih London
7. Bersih Melbourne
8. Bersih Singapore
9. Bersih Sweden
10. Bersih Sydney
11. Bersihkan Malaysia Perth
12. Borneo Youth Revolution (BYR)
13. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
14. Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI)
15. Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (Bersih 2.0)
16. Community Action Network (CAN)
17. Gabungan Profesional Malaysia Timur Tengah (GPMTT)
18. Himpunan Hijau (HH)
19. Humanity Library Kuala Lumpur
20. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
21. Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia
22. Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)
23. Kill The Bill (KTB)
24. Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces (KRYSS)
25. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
26. Kuen Cheng Alumni Association
27. Lawyers for Liberty (LfL)
28. LLG Cultural Development Centre
29. Malaysia Youth & Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
30. Malaysian Youth against Public Hazards
31. Malaysians for Beng Hock (M4BH)
32. Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (MAFREL)
33. Mama Bersih
34. Muslim Professional Forum (MPF)
35. National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT)
36. Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
37. Northern Green Youth
38. Oriental Heart and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
39. Penang Forum
40. People’s Green Coalition
41. Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM KL & Selangor
42. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
43. Persatuan Sains Sosial Malaysia (PSSM)
44. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
45. Pertubuhan Gabungan NGO Kelantan (Coalition of Kelantan NGOs)
46. Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia
47. Projek Dialog
48. Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
49. Pusat Komas
50. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
51. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
52. Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham)
53. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
54. Sunflower Electoral Education (SEED)
55. Tenaganita
56. Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

Endorsing individuals
(Disclaimer: The institutional/organizational affiliation of individuals is for identification purpose only and should not be taken to imply endorsement by their institutions/organisations).

1. Prof Abdul Rahman Embong, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
2. Prof Diana Wong, (formerly) University of Science Malaysia (USM)
3. Prof Edmund Terence Gomez, University of Malaya (UM)
4. Prof Francis Loh Kok Wah, Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
5. Prof James Chin, Sarawak
6. Prof Lim Teck Ghee, Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI)
7. Prof Norani Othman, Sisters in Islam (SIS)
8. Prof Rajah Rasiah, University of Malaya (UM)
9. Prof Wan Manan, Malaysian Academic Movement (MOVE)
10. Prof Woo Wing Thye, Penang Institute (PI)
11. Prof Zaharom Nain, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
12. Assoc. Prof Abdul Halim Yusof, University of Science Malaysia (USM)
13. Assoc. Prof Andrew Aeria, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
14. Assoc. Prof Bridget Welsh, Singapore Management University (SMU)
15. Assoc. Prof Mustafa K. Anuar, University of Science Malaysia (USM)
16. Assoc. Prof Rosli Omar, (formerly) University of Malaya (UM)
17. Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
18. Dr Ang Sze Wei, University of Hong Kong
19. Dr Azly Rahman, WorldWise Frontiers
20. Dr Charis Quay Huei Li, Université Paris-Sud (Orsay)
21. Dr Cheong Kee Cheok, University of Malaya (UM)
22. Dr Chia Oai Peng, (formerly) University of Malaya (UM)
23. Dr Helen Ting, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
24. Dr Johan Saravanamuttu, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)
25. Dr Khoo Boo Teik, Aliran
26. Dr Khoo Gaik Cheng, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
27. Dr Lee Hock Guan, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)
28. Dr Lee Leng-Feng, University of Massachusetts
29. Dr Leong Kar Yen, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
30. Dr Lim Kim Hwa, Penang Institute (PI)
31. Dr Lim Mah Hui, Penang Institute (PI)
32. Dr Ong Kian Ming, UCSI University
33. Dr Ooi Kee Beng, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)
34. Dr Subatra Jayaraj, Bersih Bangkok
35. Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Aliran
36. Dr Thillainathan Ramasamy, University of Malaya (UM)
37. Dr Toh Kin Woon, Penang Institute (PI)
38. Dr Wong Chin Huat, Penang Institute (PI)
39. Dr Wong Yee Tuan, Penang Institute (PI)
40. Dr Yeoh Seng Guan, Monash University Sunway Campus
41. Dr Yolanda Augustin, University of London
42. Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bersih 2.0
43. Dato’ Dr Musa bin Mohd Nordin, Damansara Specialist Hospital
44. Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh, Bersih 2.0
45. Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, Proham
46. Datuk A. Samad Said, Bersih 2.0
47. Adelene Wee, Bersihkan Malaysia Perth
48. Adibah Jodi, Sisters in Islam (SIS)
49. Alan Tee Boon Tsong, Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)
50. Altaf Deviyati Ismail, Penang Institute (PI)
51. Andrew Cheng Yang Chong, Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)
52. Andrew Khoo, Bersih 2.0
53. Angela M. Kuga Thas, DCI Candidate, Queensland University of Technology
54. Anil Netto, Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
55. Azareena Abdul Aziz, Sisters in Islam (SIS)
56. Azrine Razak, Sisters in Islam (SIS)
57. Bala Chelliah, Bersih Geneva
58. Chan Wei See, Sunflower Paper
59. Chaw Teck Long, Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)
60. Che Afandy Che Yusof, Penang Institute (PI)
61. Chin Pok Yap, Bersihkan Malaysia Perth
62. Chom Lee, Bersihkan Malaysia Perth
63. Chong Wu Ling, Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
64. Colin Rajah, Bersih San Francisco
65. Dahlia Martin, Flinders University
66. David Teoh, Bersih Melbourne
67. Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Suaram
68. Greg Lopez, Australian National University (ANU)
69. Hishamuddin Rais, Tukar Tiub
70. Ho Yock Lin, All Women’s Action Society Malaysia (AWAM)
71. Jason Tong, Bersihkan Malaysia Perth
72. Jerald Joseph, Pusat Komas
73. Jordan Sugunasingam, Bersihkan Malaysia Perth
74. K. Arumugam, Suaram
75. Kartina Mohd Sobri, Sisters in Islam (SIS)
76. Kean Wong, Bersih Washington DC
77. Koay Seng Beng, Penang Institute (PI)
78. Koay Su Lyn, Penang Institute (PI)
79. Koh Wee Sun, Mama Bersih
80. Lau Chee Boon, Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
81. Lee Chyi, Penang Institute (PI)
82. Liau Koh Fah, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
83. Lim Chee Han, Hannover Medical School, Germany
84. Lim Hong Siang, Sunflower Paper
85. Lim Chong Pin, Bersih San Francisco
86. Maimuna Hamid Merican, University of Malaya (UM)
87. Mandeep Singh Karpall Singh, Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
88. Maria Chin Abdullah, Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
89. Masjaliza Hamzah, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
90. Maszlee Malik, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
91. Maxine Carr, Penang Institute (PI)
92. Mohideen Abdul Kader, Citizens International
93. Nazreen Nizam, Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
94. Ng Yap Hwa, Malaysians for Beng Hock (M4BH)
95. Ngeow Chow Ying, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
96. Nizar Che Din, Penang Institute (PI)
97. Noorulhuda Mohd. Noor, Sisters in Islam (SIS)
98. Ong Guan Sin, Bersih Singapore
99. Ooi Heng, Political Studies for Change (KPRU)
100. Ooi Pei Qi, Penang Institute (PI)
101. Pam Wong, Bersih Auckland
102. Ratna Osman, Sisters in Islam (SIS)
103. Raymond Cheong, Bersihkan Malaysia Perth
104. Rozana Isa, Sisters in Islam (SIS)
105. Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan, Aliran
106. Ser Choon Ing, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
107. Soon Yee Yap, Bersihkan Malaysia Perth
108. Stephenie Aloysius, Pusat Komas
109. Steven Sim Chee Keong, Penang Institute (PI)
110. Stuart MacDonald, Penang Institute (PI)
111. Sue Ann Teo, Bersih Sweden
112. Suriani Kempe, Sisters in Islam (SIS)
113. Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia
114. T. Rajamoorthy, Regional Council for Human Rights in Asia
115. Tan Hui Chun, Humanity Library Kuala Lumpur
116. Tan Woen Tian, Kill The Bill
117. Tang Ah Chai, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
118. Teoh Lee Lan, Malaysians for Beng Hock (M4BH)
119. Th’ng Bee Fu, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
120. Tricia Yeoh, Pakatan Secretariat
121. Usha Devi, Amnesty International Malaysia
122. Wang Lay Kim, University of Science Malaysia (USM)
123. William de Cruz, Bersih Sydney
124. Wong Piang Yow, Tindak Malaysia (TM)
125. Wong Tack, Himpunan Hijau (HH)
126. Zairil Khir Johari, Penang Institute (PI)

While future update is unlikely, interested individual and organisations are welcomed to express their support for this statement at http://www.facebook.com/notes/solidariti-bersama-azrul-azwar/joint-statement-bank-islam-acts-unprofessionally-and-unjustly-in-suspending-azru/392698104152776
Also, please like our Facebook page “Solidariti Bersama Azrul Azwar” at http://www.facebook.com/Support4AzrulAzwar.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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14 Feb 2013 11.13am

Bravo Majlis NGO kelantan-Don’t hide your self to secure your INCOME at this institution and on one HAND to be in politic Resign now go into POLITIC be a Candidate this 13 election see how many support you BE THANK FULL TO WHO SUPPORTed YOUR SCHOOLING MAN!!!!…

Zainal. Exco. Majlis NGO Kelantan.

Too Azrul,

I am one off the guys that want you to be fired from BIMB,. you work for the BIMB bank and being paid by the bank so do your work for the Bank. dont kill the bank with your political comment. like it or not you better quite the bank if you want to play politic.
I might vote for him..
Majlis NGO. Kelantan.

najib manaukau
21 Jan 2013 1.31pm

This is the kind of transformation Najib is talking about !

Ed G
Ed G
21 Jan 2013 12.29pm

Remember the similar fate that was handed down onto newscaster and programme host of NTV7, Florence Looi? I wonder where she is now.

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