Controversial UUM Lecturer to Sue 5 DAP Leaders for Defamation Dating Back to 2017

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Claims of having been ridiculed, accused, humiliated and ridiculed by various parties, especially DAP leaders, for being foolish, extremist and ineligible to be a public university lecturer at UUM.

Universiti Utara Malaysia lecturer Kamarul Zaman Yusoff has initiated legal proceedings against five DAP leaders who he claims have defamed him in social media and online articles dating back to 2017.

In a statement to the media, Kamarul confirmed that he has begun proceedings for defamation against Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng, Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen and the party’s former vice-chairperson Ariffin Omar.

Kamarul, who earlier this month was banned from UUM from making political posts, told Malaysiakini: “I am heeding the ban. I am not writing anything, just initiating court proceedings against people who defamed me.”

Kamarul began his statement by referring to the time in March 2017 when he lodged a police report against DAP’s then Selangor speaker Hannah Yeoh for allegedly driving a “Christian agenda” through her book Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey by Hannah Yeoh published in January 2015.

“Following my criticism and subsequent episodes, I have been ridiculed, accused, humiliated and ridiculed by various parties, especially DAP leaders, for being foolish, extremist and ineligible to be a public university lecturer at UUM,” he said.

Kamarul said he was acting against Ariffin for an article on Nov 17, 2017, which was published online by Roketkini titled “Dr Ariffin nasihati Kamarul supaya guna akal”. The article was also reproduced by Malaysiakini. At the time of its publication, Ariffin was a member of the Dewan Negara.

Kamarul’s action against Kit Siang stemmed from a piece that the latter wrote titled “Kamarul Zaman’s police report against Hannah Yeoh raises the question of whether he is fit and proper to be a lecturer of plural Malaysia’s public university”, which was carried on the latter’s personal blog and by DAP in May 2017.

The defamation suit against Kok related to a post on her Facebook on May 17, 2017, in which she says “This UUM lecturer is mad. Who asks him to buy and read Hannah Yeoh’s book? If this book will shake his faith toward his own religion, then he should not read it. This is dangerous, one day he might lodge a police report against Bibles, or any religious materials sold in the bookshop. There will be no end to it.”

On the same day, Chong issued a statement which was headlined “DAP Sarawak condemns the act of religious bigotry by Kamarul Zaman Yusoff” and Lip Eng issued one which led with “Universiti Utara Malaysia lecturer Kamarul Zaman Yusuf should conduct himself in a sensible and noble manner by retracting his police report immediately and to apologise to Hannah unreservedly”.

Kamarul cited both articles in his statement on the suits.

In an immediate response, Kok dismissed Kamarul’s talk of filing a suit as cheap publicity.

AFP

“I stand by what I have said, and I will only respond further to Kamarul if and when he files his much-touted and threatened legal suit,” she told Malaysiakini.

Malaysiakini has also contacted the other four DAP leaders in question for their response to Kamarul’s planned legal action.

Kamarul, whose writings are often published by PAS mouthpiece Harakah Daily, turned down an offer in April to serve as a special functions officer for Plantations and Commodities Minister Khairuddin Aman Razali, saying he preferred to remain as academic.

He also made the news in March 2018 when he appeared to be intimidated by ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who made an unexpected appearance at a forum in Shah Alam where Kamarul was a panellist arguing that Mahathir was too old to be the head of government again.

He subsequently denied that in a Facebook posting.

Kamarul also gained attention for criticising health expert Dr Musa Nordin as a Pakatan Harapan lackey, after the latter pointed out that medical staff were running low on personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and thus faced the risk of Covid-19 exposure.

Aside from this, Kamarul this week also issued a statement of apology to former Yayasan Kebajikan Negara CEO Che Asmah Ibrahim following a slanderous statement regarding the funding for Rohingya refugees.

Kamarul admitted that his allegations made via a Facebook post on April 30 were “untrue, slanderous and baseless”.

He had written that “not a single cent of Qatar’s US$50 million funds had reached Rohingya refugees”.

He apologised unreservedly for this, saying he did not properly review the information he had obtained that led him to make the post.

In November 2018, Kamarul had also issued an apology to Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Rawa Yusof and retracted a statement he made on Facebook describing him as a liberal and a DAP stooge. – Malaysiakini