An academic's attempts to inflame racial tensions by accusing Bukit Mertajam Member of Parliament (MP) Steven Sim of having an ulterior motive against Muslims is causing troubles for a foodpanda rider
The academic, Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, is a senior lecturer at the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).
On 16 April, the Law, Government, and International Studies lecturer warned Malays to be cautious about accepting help from "Christian evangelists" who may have hidden agendas.
According to Dr Kamarul, MP Sim only used his own salary to purchase a motorcycle to help a foodpanda deliveryman earlier this month because he wanted to deliberately sensationalise it for publicity.
While Sim said that he has since instructed his lawyer to take legal action against the UUM lecturer, Dr Kamarul doubled down by reportedly putting up a cash prize of RM2,000 for anyone who would reveal the identity and personal information of the foodpanda rider earlier this week.
The lecturer, who has in the past accused MP Hannah Yeoh of proselytising Muslims through her book, claims that he offered the cash reward because he wanted to help the "miserable" foodpanda rider.
"Unfortunately, when I tried to get his phone number from those who have access to Sim, this attempt failed. This made me wonder why they want to keep the identity of this employee secret when many other parties want to help as well. This has become sensitive because it has been deliberately highlighted how the Chinese Christian Sim is helping the Malay Muslim man," Kamarul told Malaysiakini.
In a press conference with MP Sim on Wednesday, 28 April, the foodpanda rider revealed his identity, saying he was saddened by the fact that RM2,000 was offered to expose his identity like a criminal
According to the foodpanda rider, it was him who had asked the DAP MP to keep his identity a secret and that Sim had respected his request despite being attacked on social media for helping him.
"I didn't want my name to be revealed and now, I had no choice but to come forward as the allegations against YB Sim is too extreme," said the foodpanda rider, who identified himself as Anas Hazmi Ahmad.
"I didn't even do anything wrong and yet I was being treated like a criminal, so please, I am appealing to everyone, please let me live my life normally," Anas said while appealing for people to stop harassing him.
The 22-year-old also refuted the allegations that Sim was trying to spread Christianity through his charitable act, saying that the Bukit Mertajam MP never raised any topic related to religion with him.
Prior to this on 27 April, Dr Kamarul had exposed the foodpanda's rider's details such as his full name, the polytechnic he is studying in, and also claiming to investigate his family background in Kelantan
The UUM lecturer was quoted in a Sumberkini article, in which he stated that the offer of RM2,000 was closed as he had found out who Anas is and that he was not an employee at the delivery service.
Dr Kamarul, who had used Facebook to put up the cash reward, appears to have taken down his account on the social networking site after the press conference by the foodpanda rider.
A check by this SAYS writer found that the lecturer's Facebook account is no longer available.
Meanwhile, a clip from the press conference shows Sim stating that he can accept being attacked as a politician, but he will not sit quietly when attackers reveal Anas' home address and personal information