Hannah Yeoh's autobiography titled, 'Becoming Hannah, A Personal Journey', was published in 2014
Yeoh, a Subang Jaya assemblyperson from DAP, shared and wrote her life's story as an ordinary Malaysian woman whose life was transformed through her personal faith as a Christian and her amazing journey into politics.
Yeoh started out as a novice in politics but she went on to become the country's first female speaker and is the youngest speaker to achieve that feat at 34 years old in 2013.
"This book is an honest journey, sharing my experiences and frustrations as a young 29-year-old Malaysian who entered politics," Yeoh said at her book launch in 2015, a year later after it was first published, The Star reported.
Her autobiography has been openly sold online on Gerak Budaya and in major bookstores in Malaysia since 2014.
Three years later, the book is suddenly under public scrutiny. A lecturer from a public university has claimed that Yeoh is attempting to "coax, influence and instigate" non-Christians to convert through her book.
On 10 May, Universiti Utara Malaysia's (UUM) Institute for Malaysian Political Analysis (Mapan) director Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, wrote a Facebook post titled, 'Hannah Yeoh contoh hipokrasi terbesar DAP' (Hannah Yeoh is an example of DAP's biggest hypocrisy).
In the post, he said that DAP has constantly called for political and religious affairs to be separated but they are the ones who are actively mixing politics and religion together. Kamarul singled out Yeoh's autobiography as an example that DAP was a hypocrite.
"A book that was written by Selangor State Assembly Speaker and Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh titled 'Becoming Hannah' is one of the proofs," he said, adding that Yeoh "openly admitted" in her book about how her involvement in politics was supported by Christians and how she used her position to preach about Christianity.
He also pointed out that the book was not just being endorsed by local and overseas pastors, but also members of parliament from the opposition such as Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli.
Kamarul's post was republished in news publications such as Harakah Daily and Utusan Malaysia.
Yeoh has lodged a police report over the post, which she claims to be defamatory in nature
"It contains malice content against me and DAP. The Facebook content which states that DAP actively mixes elements of religion and politics, especially Christianity, is false."
"My book, titled 'Becoming Hannah', is my personal biography and does not concern the elements mentioned. It does not reflect DAP's principles and struggles directly or indirectly," read the excerpt from the report made by Yeoh at the Subang Jaya district police station on Monday, 15 May.
When met with reporters later that day, Yeoh stressed that her book tells her story as "a Malaysian in understanding the meaning of love and responsibility to her country" and her struggles that she faced during the past election campaigns.
"It also tells my story about love, marriage and my role as a wife and mother. That is why the book is titled 'Becoming Hannah' and not 'Becoming DAP' or 'Becoming a Christian'," she was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
Kamarul also lodged a counter police report at the Changlun police station yesterday, 17 May
"I was surprised that the book had too many stories and quotes from the Christian Bible. I think the book is an attempt to persuade, influence, or incite, a non-Christian, including Muslims, to convert or to be inclined to Christianity," his police report read.
"What is being portrayed in this book is that Christians are blessed people and their God is loving, good, and just."
Amongst others, he pointed out that Hannah's book was filled with stories of how Yeoh received prophecy and how her God does wonders in the most unexpected ways in her time of need.
"These stories can influence readers, including myself, to feel admiration for the greatness of Hannah Yeoh’s God."
He urged the police to investigate Yeoh for her book, which allegedly involved elements of proselytisation, and for disrupting the country's harmony by using religion.
Despite the controversies surrounding her autobiography, Yeoh makes no apologies for her written content
"My walk with God is genuine and I have told my personal story as it is in 'Becoming Hannah'. Without Him I am nothing and I am not ashamed to say it," she said in a Facebook post yesterday, 17 May.
When contacted by The Malaysian Insight about the police report made by Kamarul, Yeoh said that she "has no fear" because she trusts that the people in Subang Jaya, whom she has been serving, will be able to judge based on her performance.
"I have no fear. Berani kerana benar. I sleep well at night because I have not stolen any taxpayers’ money and I am not corrupt," she was quoted as saying.