Dr Zakir Naik lodges report against minister Kulasegaran for inciting discord, demands apology

Dr Zakir told the police that five individuals had allegedly made defamatory statements against him through social media or websites after his August 8 speech in Kota Baru. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Dr Zakir told the police that five individuals had allegedly made defamatory statements against him through social media or websites after his August 8 speech in Kota Baru. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — India-born fugitive televangelist Dr Zakir Naik has lodged a police report against Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran and several others, and has also sent a legal demand for an apology over the latter’s alleged defamatory remarks.

In the police report lodged earlier today and sighted by the media, Dr Zakir described himself as “Dr Zakir Abdul Karim Naik” and “a permanent resident of Malaysia”, before going on to state that he was lodging his complaint against five individuals including Kulasegaran.

Dr Zakir told the police that the five had allegedly made defamatory statements against him through social media or websites after his August 8 speech in Kota Baru, Kelantan, and listed the links to these alleged remarks.

“I lodge this report so as to enable the police to commence an investigation against the said individuals under the Penal Code (Act 15) and / or Sedition Act 1948 (Act 574) and other relevant laws for defaming me and for instigating racial disharmony and hatred among the citizens of Malaysia,” Dr Zakir said in the police report lodged before noon at the Section 6 police station within the Shah Alam district.

In his police report, Dr Zakir named the five as also including former ambassador Dennis Ignatius, Penang deputy chief minister II P. Ramasamy, Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy and Klang MP Charles Santiago.

Earlier in the same police report, Dr Zakir claimed that the five had wrongly quoted his August 8 remarks out of context, accusing them of twisting and manipulating his comments.

"They have manipulated my speech and accused me of creating communal disharmony when in actuality they are the ones who have been instigating the public and inciting communal disharmony for their own political mileage," Dr Zakir claimed in the police report, insisting that the allegations against him was the cause of communal discord among the peaceful citizens of Malaysia.

Dr Zakir claimed in the police report that he had praised Malaysia for its treatment of and for upholding the rights of the "Hindu minorities".

Dr Zakir was previously reported as having allegedly claimed that the local Indian community were more supportive of India’s prime minister Narendra Modi over Malaysia’s prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but has since contested this.

The law firm acting for Dr Zakir today also sent a letter of demand dated August 15 to Kulasegaran to demand for his apology, among other things.

In the letter sighted by the media, Dr Zakir via his lawyers demanded that Kulasegaran immediately remove all alleged defamatory remarks and allegations against the India-born Muslim preacher from all social media and websites, as well as to stop publishing such remarks.

Dr Zakir also demanded that Kulasegaran publish an apology on social media and websites within 48 hours from the date the letter is received, and also demanded within the same period for an offer of a "reasonable" amount as settlement for the alleged "damage, embarrassment, humiliation and/ or dishonour" caused to him due to the alleged defamatory statement.

Lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, who is representing Dr Zakir in this matter, confirmed the authenticity of the documents when contacted by Malay Mail.

He confirmed that the letter of demand has been served to Kulasegaran today and that the four others would be served with letters of demand by Monday.

He confirmed that the letter of demand has been served to Kulasegaran today and that the rest would be served by Monday.

He also confirmed that lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah would also be acting for Dr Zakir over this matter.

“Tan Sri Shafee will assist me in court,” Akberdin told Malay Mail.

Kulasegaran is, however, currently in Japan for an official working visit in his capacity as minister from August 15 to August 19. Malay Mail has requested for a response.

Dr Zakir’s police report and letter of demand today comes amid criticism over his alleged remarks about Malaysia’s minority communities, with the police yesterday confirming a total of 115 police reports lodged nationwide in relation to his case.

Yesterday, the police confirmed that an investigation against Dr Zakir has been launched under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.

Dr Zakir is wanted in his birth country of India, which has previously requested for his extradition from Malaysia for him to face money-laundering charges in the courts there.

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