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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kamarul Zaman is a disgrace to the academia



Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, a lecturer at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), has indeed joined the ranks of controversial academic figures who continue to bring disgrace to the academia.
Someone from my chat group calls him a “clown”. Half-baked and narrow-minded political scientist is how I would describe him; but of course, I admit I am being sceptical of such members of the Malaysian academia that are occupying important positions in our universities.
If this is the kind of academic staff that we have at UUM, it is no wonder why UUM has never been ranked highly, locally and internationally.
To put it bluntly, Kamarul Zaman is hardly a political analyst, as some media are prepared to label him. He is a liability to UUM.
Judging from his series of articles, which appear mainly in Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia, at the most, he is a pro-PAS writer and one with a very shallow ability to analyse things. I will prove it!
Most of his articles either praise Barisan Nasional, PAS or attack the DAP. Therefore, for him to accuse Selangor State Assembly Speaker Hannah Yeoh of proselytisation came as no surprise at all.
Wrong of us to entertain such 'intellectuals'
If the country continues to entertain members of the academia in the likes of Kamarul Zaman, the nation can only become retrogressive. In fact, what Kamarul Zaman had written about Yeoh is malicious.
It appears to me that this was also part of a bigger ploy, as things are well-synchronised just to win Malay votes. Enough is enough! We have to speak up and put these social rejects into their own burrows and stop them from re-surfacing again and again.
We have seen it happening, just before the last general election when former PAS commissioner Hassan Ali also accused Christians of proselytisation. He wanted to show evidence, but until today, Hassan is silent about it.
His claim that the audio Bible was used to proselytise the Muslims is nothing more than the whole Bible being read in many languages, which can be easily downloaded from the website and played on a small battery-operated speaker set.
This time around, after Kamarul Zaman’s “explosive” article, PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan immediately claimed that “enemies of Islam have united regardless of ideology and parties, to wrest economic and political power in the country”. This is nothing but to try to rally the voters behind PAS.
PAS research centre director, Mohd Zahid Marzukhi, also chipped in by quoting a book by an academician from New Zealand, which claimed that both Yeoh and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng were trying to Christianise the whole nation.
This is a baseless accusation, only created by people with malicious intents. Previously, they also accused Lim of collaborating with Christian pastors to turn Malaysia into a Christian nation.
I do not know whether to laugh or to cry when I first read this. Unlike Islam, Christianity does not believe in turning a whole country into a Christian nation, or otherwise.
Secular America has also been called a Christian nation, but ask any American Christian today, they would tell you that the opposite is true.
This is why I find it amusing for someone like Kamarul Zaman to accuse Yeoh of proselytisation, just because she shared her personal testimony in her walk with God.
Would you, for example, accuse me of proselytisation just because I have a big sticker on my car, which I drive around, since the sticker reads: “God loves YOU! Proof: The Son of God died for you”?
Do you call this a blasphemy, just because you do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Well, put it in another way, to the Muslims, this may be a taboo, but what appears credulous to the Muslims may also appear incredulous to the non-Muslims.
But this is exactly what Kamarul Zaman was pointing to in his police report lodged against the Selangor state sssembly speaker.
Baseless allegations
I quote the UUM lecturer: "I was shocked to find that this book contained parables and excerpts from the Bible. I believe this book is an attempt to persuade, influence or incite non-Christians, including Muslims, to embrace Christianity or become inclined towards Christianity.”
Why was he shocked? He should have even said he nearly died because he could not believe it that Yeoh had included some parables and verses quoted from the Bible. How ridiculous!
Does he live in such great darkness that he cannot bear to see light anymore? Why should he be “shocked” that in an autobiography authored by Hannah Yeoh, a Christian, not have any Bible verses?
Tell me, if Kamarul Zaman makes any sense at all, would the Muslims’ way of officiating an event with the “baca doa” be viewed as an attempt to convert non-Muslims attending the function?
In fact, I want to ask the narrow-minded lecturer from UUM: how does Yeoh’s book breach Section 4(1) (a) of Selangor's Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment 1998? Did the book convert any Muslim to Christianity?
This is how ridiculous Kamarul Zaman is with his “out-of-the-mind” allegations! I think Kamarul Zaman is the one who is up to his mischief and effectively breached Section 298(A) (1) of the Penal Code for causing disharmony on religious grounds.
Yeoh should in fact be flattered when Kamarul Zaman claimed that “the stories (in Yeoh’s book) can influence readers, including myself, to feel admiration for the greatness of Hannah Yeoh’s God”.
Yeoh’s book was published a few years ago. I have even done reviews of it in the past. Suddenly, for no better reason than to politicise the Christian agenda in order to win Malay votes, Kamarul Zaman has hurt the feelings of the non-Muslims in this country. All his allegations are baseless. He should in fact be charged for lodging a false police report.
As pointed out by lawyer Syahredzan Johan, Kamarul Zaman's logic is “flawed and his police report malicious”. Therefore, if no actions are taken against him, this whole incident should not be forgotten so that when Pakatan Harapan comes into power, Kamarul Zaman should be hauled up.

Enough is enough, unless we want this country to become another Taliban nation! I must say we are grateful that we still have a lot of our Malay friends who talk sense and are willing to stand up against injustice done to a fellow Malaysian.

STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008.- Mkini

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