Ramasamy settles Zakir Naik defamation suit with RM1.52mil payment

FORMER Penang deputy chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy has reportedly paid RM1.52 mil to Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik as part of the defamation suit against him.

Confirming the payment, Dr Zakir’s counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader stated that the funds were transferred on Nov 17 and are currently held in the law firm’s client account representing Dr Zakir.

This legal action stems from a Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling on Nov 2, which found Ramasamy guilty of defaming Dr Zakir.

The court ordered Ramasamy to pay RM1.45 mil in damages and RM70,000 in costs to Dr Zakir. The breakdown included RM1 mil for general damages, RM100,000 for compensatory damages, RM100,000 for aggravated damages and RM250,000 for exemplary damages.

Moreover, Judge Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz ordered a public apology from Ramasamy to Dr Zakir.

While Ramasamy has filed an appeal against the defamation ruling, he managed to raise the required RM1.52 mil through crowdfunding. Akberdin mentioned that if the Court of Appeal upholds the defamation ruling, the transferred amount will be handed over to Dr Zakir.

During recent court proceedings, Ramasamy’s counsel Razlan Hadri informed the civil court that his client is withdrawing a bid to stay the ruling for the apology. The withdrawal appears to be part of a compromise, the terms of which have not been disclosed.

“Parties have come to some sort of compromise and we (Ramasamy) would like to withdraw both enclosures (stay on apology) with no order as to costs,” Malaysiakini quoted Razlan as saying.

This legal dispute originated in 2019 when Dr Zakir initiated two separate lawsuits against Ramasamy based on public statements. One lawsuit was linked to Dr Zakir Naik’s controversial ceramah in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, on Aug 8, 2019, while the other pertained to the 2019 mass arrests related to alleged attempts to revive the defunct militant group Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). – Dec 1, 2023


Main photo credit: Malaysiakini

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