Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff tells Tanjak it very pathetic when some Malaysians prefer to adopt the shoot-the-messenger approach, and that Hannah Yeoh needs to be exposed for what she really is − a hypocrite
Q1Please state your name and position for the record.
My full name is Dr Kamarul Zaman Haji Yusoff. My current position is director of the Institute for Malaysian Political Analysis (Mapan) at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).
Q2Please confirm your consent to be interviewed.
I agree to be interviewed.
Q3What is your job description and what does it entail?
As its name implies, my job at Mapan mainly involves analyzing Malaysian political affairs − past, present and future.
Researching and commenting on political affairs of the day is the core of my business, including the development of Malaysian political parties and government policies. We do also conduct public opinion polls to measure voter sentiments on political issues besides their confidence in and support for political leaders/parties.
Q4How many social media accounts do you have and with whom?
In terms of social media, I mainly use Facebook and WhatsApp to communicate.
Q5Do you often comment on political affairs in the social media?
I regularly comment on political affairs in social media. Its frequency depends on how busy I am with other matters. It can be as frequent as one comment per day. This is compared to roughly between 10 to 15 comments per month [of mine] published by the mainstream media.
Q6Who are your audience on social media generally?
They consist mainly of political activists and leaders from various parties, fellow academicians, government officers, friends and relatives.
Q7Some days ago on 10 May 2017, you posted on Facebook an entry titled ‘Hannah Yeoh contoh hipokrasi terbesar DAP’ (‘article’) wherein you have postulated that while DAP claims to be secular, its leaders – Hannah Yeoh as one example – have in fact been spreading Christianity and have a Christian agenda? Care to elaborate?
Yes, DAP has been proclaiming for ages that it is a secular party which guns for Malaysia being run on a secular basis − which it says is what the essence of the federal constitution is. However at the same time, its leaders the likes of Hannah Yeoh are on public record as mixing religion with politics.
I use Hannah Yeoh’s book Becoming Hannah as an instance of my argument wherein she confesses in a few parts of her book that religion is instrumental in advancing her political career, and that she is using her political position to advance her religion.
If this is not a hypocrisy, then what is?
Q8What was the reaction of your audience to the article?
There was a healthy but at times heated discussion on my article due to the fact that almost all of my audience did not know about it before I revealed it; and due to the fact that there are two opposing groups in my audience − one supporting DAP and another opposing DAP. However, I did manage to control the discussion, blocking anyone transgressing the line.
Q9When do you think Hannah Yeoh got wind of the article?
I am not sure. She is not in my Facebook friend’s list though the list contains a number of DAP leaders/activists and more of those parties that are aligned to DAP, especially Amanah and PKR. It could be that any of my Facebook friends alerted her about it. But it could also be that she got wind of it after a few news portals picked up on it.
Q10In the article, you cited several passages from her book Becoming Hannah in support of your position. What is the book about generally?
The book is generally about her journey of how she became a Christian and how her Christianity helped her not only in her personal life, such as in her marriage, but also in her political quest. She then used her experiences to coax other Christians to be active in politics. However, in the process, she made Christianity sound appealing to its readers, with instances of miracles being mentioned here and there, coupled with the elements of Christian teaching.
Q11Hannah Yeoh lodged a police report in response to your article. Your early reaction – according to your latest post – is to take responsibility, cooperate and provide further proof of Hannah’s alleged Christian agenda. Anything to add?
Yes, I will provide evidences (to back up whatever I wrote in my article) to the authorities, be they the police during the investigation or, if sued, to the court.
Q12You mentioned that you will be tendering evidence to prove that there was a Christianization agenda by Hannah Yeoh. Generally, what are these proofs you speak of?
Her self-confession in her book, plus other materials which are not mentioned in the book.
Q13In Hannah Yeoh’s statement commenting on your article, she seemed to allude that the quotations only show her own personal agenda as a Christian and have nothing to do with DAP. Are you satisfied with this explanation?
She is a high-profile DAP leader and also a high-profile Selangor state government leader by virtue of her being elected on the DAP ticket. Whatever she does in her religious quest brings the name of DAP, and even the Selangor state government, into the limelight by virtue of her representing DAP and the state government.
If it is something personal then it must be something private but she herself admitted to using her political office to preach at churches, to world leaders and to young people, and of God wanting [them] to reclaim politics and public service in Malaysia, coupled with the introduction about her aim to bring Christian faith and service to the public sphere.
What more with she herself being introduced [to audiences] by the position she holds in DAP – besides the position she holds in the Selangor state government – when she preaches. Moreover, there has not been any record of DAP ever trying to discipline her as far as the mixing of religion and politics is concerned.
Q14 Her statement on this issue included:
“Komitmen DAP terhadap negara sekular adalah bertepatan dengan apa yang termaktub di bawah perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menyatakan bahawa kerakyatan Malaysia memang bersifat pelbagai kaum dan agama. Parti DAP mempunyai ahli beragama Islam, Buddha, Hindu, Kristian dan Sikh. Justeru selaras dengan kepelbagaian agama dalam kalangan ahlinya, DAP tidak pernah menghalang mana-mana ahlinya daripada mengamalkan kepercayaan masing-masing asalkan tiada sesiapa yang cuba untuk memaksa keimanan mereka terhadap yang lain, atau membiarkan kepercayaannya mencampuri tugas hakiki sebagai wakil rakyat. Jelas bahawa DAP sebenarnya mempunyai agenda Malaysia, dan bukanlah agenda Kristian.”
Do you agree that Hannah’s statements only refer to her personal right to promote her religion based on her right under Article 11(1) of the constitution?
I do not agree that her statements in her book only refer to her personal right to promote her religion under the constitution.
Q15Do you believe Hannah Yeoh has engaged in any activity contrary to the prohibition in Article 11(4) of the constitution on speading non-Islamic doctrine amongst Muslims in Malaysia?
Yes, I believe so. And I even lodged a police report about this on 17 May 2017.
Q16Reaction in the various leftist, liberal English-language news portals such as Malay Mail Online and MalaysiaKini has been negative. Some of them have questioned your suitability to be an academician. Others say you are pro-Umno. What is your response?
I have already responded on this via my Facebook. My other response is that they feel really threatened by the revelation, and that they don’t have any answer to that. So the only thing they can do is to shoot me as the messenger, which is very pathetic.
Q17 Gerard Lourdesamy in particular made a damning allegation in his comment at Malaysiakini that you have ties to Isis and the Taliban and intend to create a Wahabi-inspired theocratic Islamic state in Malaysia contrary to the federal constitution. What is your response?
Initially I was tempted to lodge a police report on him and Malaysiakini, and to sue them for defamation. However, I decided not to as I believe healthy dialogue is much better.
I am not like Hannah Yeoh who is coward, not daring to refute what I specifically wrote in public but instead resorted to lodging a police report.
I dare this Gerard to substantiate his claim, whether in private or in public, and to meet. This is another case of trying to shoot the messenger. The PDRM is very professional and capable, if I have ties to Isis and the Taliban, I am sure I would have been in jail a long time ago.
Q18Who or what do you plan to cite in your pending defence?
Freedom of expression is one. I am entitled to give my expert view.
Q19Will you be taking any action of your own — police reports, suits, etc? (Note: Tanjak’s questions were submitted to Dr Kamarul before he lodged his police report)
I’ve already lodged the police report on May 17. I am considering suing anyone defaming my integrity – either as an individual or as an academician – in commenting on me if people [still] continue to do so even after I’ve already explained myself. It also depends on the extent of how damaging are the statements they make about me, which I will have to assess.
Q20What is the outcome of this episode that you’re hoping for?
I am hoping for a civil and professional closure. I leave it to the authorities to determine it since we’ve [both] already lodged our own police reports. If Hannah Yeoh is found to have breached any law, then she needs to be charged for it. So too if I am found to have breached any law.
I am very professional and have no fear whatsoever as I think I am doing the right thing.
People accused me of having malicious intention whereas I was just stating my professional view. Hannah Yeoh and DAP need to be exposed for what they really are: A hypocrite.
Thank you for the interview.
Thank you to you too.
DAP secularism fake since Hannah preaches politics in church — HERE
PAS: Is Hannah a Christian Dominionist? — HERE