Ramasamy receives legal notice over interview with Indian TV channel

Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy today confirmed receipt of a legal notice from Dr Zakir Naik’s lawyer, saying the preacher plans to sue him over remarks made in a recent interview with an Indian TV channel.

The notice of demand from Akberdin & Co, sighted by FMT, also called on Ramasamy to stop commenting on Naik and to issue an apology within 48 hours of receiving the letter.

Naik’s lawyers also demanded a “reasonable sum of settlement” for the “damage, embarrassment, humiliation and dishonour caused” through the interview with India Today, a video of which was posted on YouTube.

This is Ramasamy’s second legal notice from Naik.

The first was served on him, Klang MP Charles Santiago, Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy and former diplomat Dennis Ignatius on Oct 19.

Naik has also sued Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran.

All five have vowed to fight the Indian Muslim preacher in court.

When contacted, Ramasamy said that while he was willing to face Naik in court, he was upset with the legal notice sent to him.

“The notice of demand claims that I am attacking Naik because of my ‘sagging popularity’ in DAP, and accuses me of abusing my position as deputy CM.

“The letter also says that I am responsible for the protests in Brickfields last Saturday.”

Accusing the lawyer in question of unprofessional behaviour, Ramasamy said he should have defined what constitutes defamation instead of attributing his actions to “sagging popularity”.

“I will be writing to the Bar Council and the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board over this matter,” he said.

“And to Naik, see you in court.”

Akberdin Abdul Kader, a member lawyer of Akberdin & Co, said the notice of demand was sent to Ramasamy according to the law, and denied allegations of politicking.

He said the letter was in order to show the motive and bad faith behind the statements critical of Naik.

“We are guided by statutory provisions and case laws. When acting for a client, we have to disclose the facts of the issue and relevant facts,” he said.