Zakir Naik Sues Ramasamy for Defamation

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Ramasamy had allegedly called him “Satan” in an FB post.

Controversial televangelist Zakir Naik has filed a defamation suit in the High Court against Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy for allegedly slandering him through written articles.

The suit, which was filed by law firm Messrs Akberdin and Co on Wednesday (Oct 16), is seeking an injunction against Ramasamy to not reproduce these articles and from issuing, publishing or uploading defamatory statements as well as an apology to be produced by newspapers and news portals.

In the statement of claim, the preacher accused that Ramasamy, on several occasions, had defamed and humiliated him.

Zakir claimed that Ramasamy had called him “Satan” in a Facebook post on April 10, 2016.

Ramasamy was also accused of writing a defamatory article titled ‘Is Malaysia harbouring alleged fugitive Zakir Naik?’ that was published in news portal Free Malaysia Today in 2017.

Zakir also claimed that on August 11, Ramasamy had manipulated his answer during a speech organised by the Kelantan state government which allegedly denigrates ethnic Indians in the country.

Ramasamy had also allegedly released a defamatory statement against Zakir, that was published by an international media publication, India Today.

Zakir claimed that these statements had depicted him as a malicious individual and are a threat to the peace and harmony of the country and he is seeking compensation, general damages, exemplary damages as well as other relief deemed appropriate.

Ramasamy said he has received the summons sent to his office yesterday afternoon and will assemble a legal team, including volunteers, to fight the case.

“What gall this person, who got his permanent residency through the backdoor, has to sue a Malaysian born and bred here.

“There is no reason to defame or ridicule Naik. He has created hatred and tensions among the different races and religions.

“Some people have given him the strength to take me to court. We will meet in court. I have all the evidence,” he said at the Chief Minister’s Office in Komtar yesterday.

Ramasamy said he would also contest an injunction applied by Zakir to prevent him from making any statements regarding him to news outlets.

He said he would show evidence of Zakir’s alleged terrorist attacks in Bangladesh and, more recently, in Sri Lanka. He also said Zakir had made racist remarks at a talk in Kelantan.

“The Indian government is holding him responsible for influencing a number of youths in Kerala to join terrorist organisations.

“Except for India, which wants him to be arrested for a variety of charges, including money laundering, no other country wants him,” he said.

Ramasamy has become the first Malaysian politician to be sued for defamation by Zakir.

Akberdin added that more lawsuits can be expected next week against Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran, Klang MP Charles Santiago, Bagan Dalam assemblyperson Satees Muniandy, and former ambassador Dennis J Ignatius.

On Aug 22, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Zakir would remain in Malaysia at the moment, despite clamours from multiple quarters from within Pakatan Harapan for the Muslim preacher’s deportation.

Earlier on Aug 18, Mahathir was reported saying that Zakir’s religious speech in regards to Chinese and Hindu Malaysians had ventured into “racial politics”.