KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has accused some Malaysians today of double standards, claiming they would defend now defunct separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) but not fugitive Indian national Dr Zakir Naik.
The president of Islamist party PAS said he was baffled that there are Malay-Muslims who refuse or are reluctant for the televangelist to be protected here, calling them “a new species” in the society.
“It is even more baffling that there are those who think that Dr Zakir Naik cannot be protected, unlike the LTTE that is obviously at war and is terrorising Sri Lanka?” Hadi asked in a statement.
Despite Hadi’s claim, LTTE is believed to be defunct since 2009 after its sole first generation leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan was arrested in Kuala Lumpur then. However, there are still other Tamil separatist groups still operating.
Hadi then compared the polemic involving Dr Zakir to a massive stone that has disrupted the peaceful pond of the life of the plural society in Malaysia that has been dominated by Muslims.
“The question is, what is the difference between Dr Zakir Naik and the Tamil Eelam group?” he asked.
“It is obvious, Dr Zakir Naik did not bring up an issue that is as controversial as Tamil Eelam, but because those who are angry at his argument and his approach that cannot be replied by another argument, they acted inappropriately.
“This is different from the Malay-Muslims who were not as clamorous they are when it comes to the issue of Tamil Eelam,” he added, but did not clarify who he was referring to.
Hadi’s remark came just days after PAS information chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad accused Penang Deputy Chief Minister II and Dr Zakir’s vocal critic, P. Ramasamy, of being proxy to foreign powers including “terror groups” such as LTTE.
PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had also brought up the topic yesterday, asking for continued investigation against Ramasamy and four other ethnic Indian politicians for allegedly stirring ethnic tensions.
In response, Ramasamy said he will be filing a defamation suit against Kamaruzaman, since he had explained numerous times that he was involved in peace negotiations in Sri Lanka just like how he was involved in peace negotiations in Colombia, Acheh and Mindanao.
He said there were over 100 police reports lodged against him for these false allegations linking him to LTTE and police have investigated and cleared him.
He also said it was obvious that these attacks against him were tactics to divert attention from the real issue, after the PAS-led Kelantan state government hosted Dr Zakir, where he allegedly made inflammatory remarks that prompted a criminal investigation against him.
Last year, Tamilar Kural Malaysia president David Marshel insisted that overt support for LTTE does not automatically make one a terrorist, claiming nearly all ethnic Indians of Tamil descent backed the organisation.