Thu, 1 Jun 2023



Ramasamy apologised only to public, not Naik, court hears
Published on: Friday, May 26, 2023
By: V Anbalagan, FMT
Text Size:

Ramasamy apologised only to public, not Naik, court hears
P Ramasamy says he removed a Facebook post which referred to Zakir Naik (right) as ‘Satan’ after he realised it was offensive to Muslims.
Kuala Lumpur:  The High Court heard today that Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy did not apologise to Zakir Naik for referring to him as “Satan” in a Facebook post seven years ago.

“I expressed regret in a statement, especially to Muslims who might have been offended (by) the word that had gone viral, but not (to) the plaintiff (Naik),” Ramasamy said when cross-examined by lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader.

He said he quickly removed the posting after a petrol bomb was thrown at his service centre two days later on April 12, 2016.

Akberdin is representing Naik in the trial of two defamation suits brought by the controversial Islamic televangelist against Ramasamy in 2019.

Akberdin: It defies logic to direct an apology to the public when the word “Satan” was initially aimed at Naik.

Ramasamy: I apologised to the public, especially to Muslims who might have felt offended.

Akberdin: Come on, you are not being honest on this matter. Naik should have been the recipient of the apology.

Ramasamy: I disagree.

Ramasamy said he never intended to refer to Naik as “Satan” based on the dictionary meaning of the term, but merely as a metaphor, figure of speech or an analogy.

He agreed with Akberdin that the word was derogatory and objectionable even to non-Muslims.

He also agreed that the word when uttered or posted could amount to a grave and sudden provocation.

Ramasamy said he believed the petrol bomb incident could have been the result of his Facebook posting on April 10, 2016, adding that he regretted using the word.

However, he disagreed with Akberdin’s suggestion that his use of the word when referring to Naik was not a fair comment.

Naik, in his evidence in December 2021, told the court Ramasamy’s description of him as “Satan” was slanderous.

He said Ramasamy had taken his speeches out of context and had purposely quoted him in a misleading manner.

Naik, being an authority in comparative religions, is said to have made disparaging remarks about Hinduism and Christianity.

He sued Ramasamy for allegedly issuing the statements, which were uploaded onto social media sites and news portals, between 2016 and 2019.

In his statement of claim, he alleged that Ramasamy had defamed him on April 10, 2016 by calling him “Satan” on his Facebook page.

Naik, who is a permanent resident, also said Ramasamy defamed him in another statement published by FMT on Oct 1, 2017, by claiming that Malaysia was harbouring a “fugitive” from India.

He also claimed that on Aug 11, 2019, Ramasamy “manipulated” a speech he had made at an event organised by the Kelantan government, published by FMT the same day.

On Aug 20, 2019, he said, Ramasamy again defamed him in a statement published by India Today which, he claims, was laced with hatred and spite.

Naik’s second suit against Ramasamy alleges that the defendant had defamed him when making comments about the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), carried by The Malaysian Insight portal on Nov 8, 2019.

The hearing before Justice Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz continues on June 16.

* Follow us on Instagram and join our Telegram and/or WhatsApp channel(s) for the latest news you don't want to miss.

* Do you have access to the Daily Express e-paper and online exclusive news? Check out subscription plans available.



National Top Stories

Follow Us  

Follow us on            

Daily Express TV