Calls to sack UUM lecturer Kamarul grow louder

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Controversial academician well-known for making remarks considered insensitive towards Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious communities.

Universiti Utara Malaysia’s (UUM) Facebook posting last night in celebration of today’s Nuzul Al-Quran was pelted by loud calls to remove one of its lecturers who has been repeatedly accused of making slanderous remarks.

Members of the public expressed their outrage through a series of comments on the said posting, questioning the university’s decision to continue keeping the controversial academician on its payroll.

UUM’s senior lecturer Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff has been a subject of ridicule and criticism over the past few years after he appeared in favour of politicians in power while continuously denouncing the opposition.

He is also well-known to be making remarks considered insensitive towards Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious communities.

The posting drew 1,300 comments with a majority touching on the lecturer.

Facebook user Norman Radzuan said UUM’s reputation as a higher education institute was in tatters for keeping the senior lecturer on its roster.

“Is UUM not embarrassed to have such a racist Prof (sic)??? UUM is an embarrassment and a disgrace for keeping someone like that.”

Mustafa Arief said UUM’s reputation would be tainted if Kamarul continued to be part of the institution.

“His bad attitude and opinions will destroy the people of this country.”

Recently, Kamarul again landed in hot water after saying he felt “uncomfortable” seeing the publicity given to Bukit Mertajam parliamentarian Steven Sim following his contributions to the Malay-Muslim community.

Kamarul proceeded to caution Muslims against accepting help from “Christian evangelists”, in a Facebook post titled: “Warning to Steven Sim: Don’t provoke race and religious tension by over-sensationalising aid distribution to the Malay-Muslims.”

NST

On April 20, Sim confirmed he would be taking legal action against Kamarul, claiming the latter had stoked racial and religious sentiments.

Ezuan Mohamed, another Facebook user who also commented on UUM’s Nuzul Al-Quran posting, urged the university to sack Kamarul.

“Don’t keep (him). Or else UUM’s good name will be tarnished all over the world. The world might criticise UUM if that ‘person’ is still around. #TolakFitnah (#RejectSlander)”

Fazley Noordin echoed a similar opinion, expressing hope that UUM would take stern action against Kamarul.

“As a former UUM student, I hope the university will take stern action against a lecturer known as Kamarul Yusoff who is getting overboard with his seditious and malicious commentaries,” he said.

In 2018, Kamarul courted flak when he told a forum that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was “spiritually” unfit to be prime minister due to his advanced age and drew on examples of Quranic verses on the frailty of men.

Midway through the forum, Dr Mahathir gate-crashed the Shah Alam event and said in a Twitter posting: “I am here guys. Say it to my face.”

Another Facebook user Mohd Salleh also expressed his anger with Kamarul through UUM’s posting, questioning the university’s decision to keep Kamarul.

“(Do you) want him to plant more hatred among the people? Or is it because UUM has lost its fangs? Don’t wait until the people lost their respect in UUM and its lecturers.”

Achik Hasbullah suggested UUM demote Kamarul to a position that would “suit him better”.

“Let him be a cleaner. Cleaning filth is much nobler than causing filth.”

Muhammad Yahaya on the other hand used a famous Malaysia’s satirical humour to describe stupidity – referring to a person as “kangkung” (water spinach).

“Hopefully (UUM’s) vice-chancellor (Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani) will ask the cleaners to cut down the ‘kangkung’ that is creeping into the VC’s office.

“It is embarrassing to let visitors see UUM this way,” he said.

The “kangkung” humour made its appearance in 2014 when former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak suggested Malaysians should welcome cheaper water spinach prices, among others, and urged the public to praise the government for it.

The remark became an overnight sensation to mock Najib’s subsidy cuts programme.

Among the commentators were veteran newsman and former New Straits Times Press group editor-in-chief, Datuk A Kadir Jasin who pointed out that UUM’s good intention to highlight Nuzul Al-Quran in its Facebook posting became a platform for Malaysians to vent out.

“This is all because of the actions of a UUM’s academician who does not fulfil the public’s expectation on what it means to be an academician.

“We encourage intellectuals to write and be expressive based on knowledge and not to look for cheap publicity by making statements that are shallow, partisan and insulting to the point of being subjected to legal actions repeatedly.

“I hope this episode of ‘seekor kerbau membawa lumpur habis sekandang terpalit’ (troublemaker or rotten apple) can be removed once and for all,” he wrote. – NST