Saturday, January 19, 2013

Economist stands by poll analysis, will sue those who slander him

January 19, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 – Economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin stands by his analysis that predicts Pakatan Rakyat (PR) can win Election 2013, saying today he will sue anyone, be it bloggers or politicians, who tarnish his professional reputation.
The Bank Islam chief economist (picture) also said there was no cause for the government-linked bank to take disciplinary action by suspending him after his presentation at the Singapore Regional Outlook Forum was reported by the Singapore Straits Times last week.
“I stand by my analysis and the presentation I made at the forum,” he said in a statement sent to The Malaysian Insider today.
“I maintain that I have given an honest and professional opinion at the Forum. I believe that there is no proper cause to take disciplinary action against me,” he added in the seven paragraph statement.
In a report by The Straits Times, Azrul Azwar’s calculations found that one of the most likely scenarios was that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition would likely win only between 97 and 107 of the 222 parliamentary seats, which are insufficient to form the next administration.
But the result would also mean that PR will only gain a shaky hold over Parliament, far from the supermajority once enjoyed by its rival.
The two other likely scenarios reportedly presented by Azrul Azwar at the January 10 forum was that there would be a narrow win for BN and a bigger win for PR. Azrul Azwar had taken into account factors such as race and demographics.
In his statement today, Azrul noted certain bloggers, politicians and others said his analysis of PR securing a narrow victory in the 13th general election was “unprofessional, biased and partisan” because he was a PKR member.
“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.
“It is impossible to deny that the results of the 13th General Election will have a critical impact on the Malaysian economy. I had carried out my analysis based on publicly available information and stated my assumptions for 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,” said Azrul Azwar.
The economist also said he reserved the right to sue those who have smeared his reputation.
“I am also giving notice to the bloggers, politicians and others who seek to tarnish my reputation and make defamatory remarks on my integrity and credibility on the performance of my profession that I shall not hesitate to commence legal proceedings against them to protect and vindicate my reputation.
“It is indeed a tragedy for the state of Malaysian democracy when an opinion that is unfavourable to the ruling party is sufficient cause for disciplinary action and licence for character assassination by certain quarters. I am confident that truth and justice will prevail,” the economist said.

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