Controversial ex-academic Kamarul Zaman has been PM’s special officer since December

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Former Universiti Utara Malaysia lecturer Kamarul Zaman Yusoff has come clean on his appointment as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s special officer.

The controversial political analyst who had also been sued repeatedly by DAP lawmakers for defamation told Malaysiakini last night that he has been in the role since last December.

“I purposely did not publicise it. I prefer to work in obscurity. I am not someone who chases publicity and prefers to keep a low profile while working behind the scenes,” he was quoted saying by the news portal.

The cat got out of the bag yesterday morning when the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) made social media postings attributing Kamarul Zaman as Ismail Sabri’s special officer promoting a symposium on making Bahasa Malaysia international.

However, they tried to cover this up unsuccessfully, after queries were made regarding the appointment.

Kamarul Zaman is not currently listed on the PMO directory. He said he was seconded to the PMO from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), where he served as a senior lecturer.

Commenting on his job scope, he said it does not involve politics or policy matters, but includes helping the PM with daily matters and research, excluding politics or policy matters, “nothing that requires me to stand out”.

Kamarul Zaman made the news earlier this year when Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh sued him for defamation over his 2017 Facebook post in which he claimed she was proselytising Christianity through her politics.

He had also lodged a police report against Yeoh’s biography, Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey, calling it a “Christian agenda”.

Last year, Kamarul Zaman reportedly accused Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim of “Christianisation” and warned other Malay-Muslims against accepting aid from “Christian evangelists” following Sim’s aid to a Malay youth.

Kamarul Zaman also wrote an article titled Beza antara bantuan Melayu Islam dan bantuan Cina Kristian that Christian Chinese only post about their good deeds towards Malay-Muslims for publicity, and compared Sim’s actions with those of PAS lawmaker Datuk Awang Hashim as both of them bought a motorcycle for a separate delivery rider.

Previously, in 2020, Kamarul Zaman was listed as a special functions officer to then plantation industries and commodities minister Khairuddin Aman Razali.

However, he said he did not accept the offer and said the listing was a mistake.