May 30, 2017
BolehLand (CanLand)’s Towering Academic–Dr. Kamarul Yusoff
by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee@www.malaysiakini.com
Dr. Kamarul Yusoff was surely modest when he posted a small part of his credentials in responding to critics of his lambasting of Hannah Yeoh.
In fact, building on his ‘lofty’ American undergraduate achievements, he has returned to our tanah air to become a ‘highly productive’ scholar and academic.
His academic and intellectual track record can be discerned from his employer, Universiti Utara Malaysia’s website. He is listed as a Senior Lecturer and presently Director of the Malaysian Institute of Political Analysis (MAPAN) as well as is attached to The Ghazali Shafie Graduate School of Government.
In the website, he has described his work and career in capital letters in the following way
I AM A POLITICAL SCIENTIST SPECIALIZING IN MALAYSIA POLITICS. MY DOCTORATE THESIS WAS ON PARTI ISLAM SE-MALAYSIA (PAS) MAKING ME AN EXPERT ON PAS. MY MAIN INTEREST IS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF MALAYSIAN OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES. I HAVE RECEIVED GRANTS FROM UUM TO CONDUCT OPINION POLLS ON MALAYSIAN CURRENT POLITICAL ISSUES AND WILL BE RECEIVING A FEW MORE FROM VARIOUS RESEARCH AGENCIES TO STUDY CURRENT MALAYSIAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT. I HAVE BEEN FEATURED QUITE REGULARLY IN THE MALAYSIAN MEDIA COMMENTING ON MALAYSIAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT.
Members of the public interested in his work can view his ‘prolific’ scholarly output at UUM’s repository website – http://repo.uum.edu.my/profile/kzaman.
From it we can see that he has been a contributor to the country’s Malay print media – notably Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia during the past three years. Even with his columns printed in the country’s leading media, Dr. Kamarul, alas, does not appear to have been able to generate much of an audience for his political analysis.
According to the repository portal’s records his ten most viewed articles have received a total of some 700 hits or an average of 70 hits per article. Perhaps now that he has emerged prominently in the public radar screen, he will be attracting more readers to his writing.
His research output to date is even less prolific and appears to be focused on opinion polls. He has listed only one publication (with other collaborators) in an obscure – and what is likely to remain an insignificant – journal, The Malaysian Journal of Youth Studies.
Perhaps the most interesting part of his academic career is his current leadership of an institution, MAPAN, which is aspiring, in its words:
To become the eminent political research centre related to political issues, specifically in Malaysia.
To become a political research centre and a poll centre that is professional, independent, credible, transparent, and respected at both the national and international levels.
To become a political research centre that is capable of giving consultation services and becoming a reference for individuals, groups, and the nation.
To become a political research centre that is referred to by political adopters, analysts, researchers, and observers from all over the world, and thus enhancing the image of the college and university in the global arena.
To become a research centre that can assist the university to generate financial income, specifically through organising conferences, performing research consultation, and producing publications.
Although established in 2010 with these ambitious/lofty objectives, MAPAN appears to have undertaken little research.
This cannot be due to a lack of research funding or government support since the gallery section of the institute’s website shows the Director in September 2013 in prominent proximity with the Mentri Besar of Perlis, and with the latter shown opening up one of the Institute’s reports.
One can understand how impressed the MB must have been with the work of this “alternative, credible, and rational source having scientific value, high reputation, and being well respected by the general public” (http://mapan.uum.edu.my/index.php/en/corporate-info/mapan-background).
However, to date there is only one title found in MAPAN’s online publication page. In 2013, on the eve of the General Election, it co-published a 19 page poll research report jointly produced by MAPAN and the Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN) Tinjaun Pendapat Umum Di Kawasan Utara: Calon & Parti Pilihan Rakyat Dalam PRU 2013.
It will not be surprising if MAPAN led by Dr. Kamarul soon awakens from its academic hibernation to undertake opinion polls relating to the coming election, and engages in a fresh burst of activity and pro- Barisan and UMNO election analysis that will be “referred to by political adoptors [what this term refers to is anybody’s guess] analysts, researchers and observers from all over the world.”
Incidentally, the Majlis Profesor Negara which co-authored the 2013 poll report is the pre-eminent academic body in the nation. It is currently comprised of over 2,000 professors. Surely the day is coming soon when academics such as Dr. Kamarul Yusoff and his Ph. D colleagues supporting him in his memorandum to the Registrar of Societies calling on it to de-register the Democratic Action Party, will also join this august body to further strengthen the ranks of our “super gurus”.