FORMER Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) lecturer Kamarul Zaman Yusoff has withdrawn his defamation suit against Youth and Sports minister Hannah Yeoh.
Yeoh, who is also the Segambut MP, confirmed this in a media statement on Tuesday (Feb 6), adding that Kamarul Zaman had filed a notice of discontinuance in court on January 30 with costs and a payment of RM5,000 to her after suing her for defamation.
“I welcome the decision by Kamarul Zaman to retract his defamation suit against me for an alleged ‘defamatory’ Facebook post in 2020,” she said.
“In 2020, Kamarul Zaman made the comment ‘Using religion to win the state election?’ on a banner featuring my image, insinuating that I employed religious tactics while campaigning during the Sabah state elections.
“I promptly responded, highlighting his attempt to stoke racial and religious sentiments.
“Instead of retracting his statement and offering me an apology at that time, he decided to initiate a defamation lawsuit against me. I made it clear that I was thoroughly prepared to defend myself.”
According to Yeoh, Kamarul Zaman’s withdrawal of his defamation suit last month not only proved her assertion that she did not exploit religion in her political campaigns but also that his allegations were baseless and unsubstantiated.
“Now that the suit has been withdrawn, I wish to lay this matter to rest,” she stated.
Kamarul Zaman made the news in 2020 when he sued Yeoh over a Facebook post during the Sabah election.
The academic posted a banner on the social media platform that depicted Yeoh along with the words “Peranan Umat Kristian Dalam Pembangunan Negara” (The role of Christians in nation-building).
“Using religion to win the state election?” he added in a comment accompanying the Facebook post.
The DAP lawmaker, in response, accused the lecturer of playing up racial and religious sentiments. Kamarul then demanded an apology, which Yeoh refused, leading to the lawsuit. – Feb 6, 2024