Apologise and pay, Zakir slaps four more with notices of demand
Published:  Aug 19, 2019 1:58 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2019 9:59 AM

Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik demanded Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy and three others to apologise and offer a reasonable sum in settlement within 48 hours or risk being sued for defamation.

The three are Klang MP Charles Santiago, Bagan Dalam assemblyperson Satees Muniandy and former ambassador Dennis J Ignatius.

The notices of demand from legal firm Akberdin & Co were dated today, Aug 19.

Last week, a similar demand was sent to Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran, who later said he is prepared to face the Indian-born preacher in court.

Zakir had also filed a police report against the five, urging for investigations to be carried out against them under the Penal Code and Sedition Act.

In the notices of demand, sighted by Malaysiakini, the firm cited a slew of articles written or quoting the four, which it claimed tarnished Zakir's reputation and credibility.

“We are instructed to state that the said defamatory statements are clearly actuated by malice, hatred and/or spite.

“We are further instructed to state that the defamatory statements are unfounded, fabricated, untrue, entirely fictitious, and/or have been twisted to meet your own agenda,” read the notices.

In light of this, the firm stated that the four must:

1) Admit liability and retract the allegations made against our client.

2) Immediately cease and desist from publishing and/or causing to be published all and/or any defamatory, spurious, untrue and/or fallacious allegations/accusations and/or remarks against our client.

3) Within 48 hours from the date of receipt of this letter, publish and/or caused to be published an unreserved apology which is to be posted, uploaded and/or published on your social media and/or websites

4) Within 48 hours from the date of receipt of this letter, make an offer or a reasonable sum of settlement to our client for the damage, embarrassment, humiliation and/or dishonour caused to our client as a result of the said defamatory statements.

“Failing which, we have our client's instructions to initiate legal proceedings against you, including injunctive reliefs, damages and/or any other such relief, with costs and interest, without any further reference to you,” said the firm.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Zakir, who is a Malaysian permanent resident, had crossed the line when he touched on racial politics during his speech in Kelantan.

Prior to that, the premier said the preacher's PR status hinges on the outcome of the police investigations into his remarks.

Zakir has claimed that his remarks were misunderstood or taken out of context.

In a statement later, Satees said he is prepared to face Zakir in court.

“I will not run away to some foreign country, and cry victim over this. Be it a police report, or civil suit, I will face it, from my motherland, Malaysia. I stand by my comment and I will not apologize for my comments, which I have made in the interest of the nation' harmony,” he added.

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