THIS 74th Deepavali will be the most memorable one in the life of former DAP stalwart Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy for it encapsulates how he rebounded so swiftly from his fall from grace to be once again hailed as a champion for the Indian community – ironically after losing his court case to controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
The former Penang chief minister II can now look forward to the festival of light which will be celebrated by all Indians of Hindu faith this Sunday with a peace of mind after having handed over a cheque of RM1.52 mil from NGO Malaysian Tamilar Kural to legal counsel Felix Lim of Messrs Mureli Navaretnam this afternoon (Nov 10).
“The money will be paid to Zakir Naik’s lawyers and to be kept in the client’s account till all the appeals processes are exhausted. The Plaintiff (ZN) can’t ‘touch’ or ‘pledge’ the money to any cause until all the processes are over! The fight is still ON!” snubbed Ramsamy in a Facebook posting.
Zakir Naik had on Nov 4 pledged to donate the entire RM1.52 mil compensation from Ramasamy to the Palestinian cause.
For context, the former Perai state assemblyman was ordered by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Nov 2 to pay that RM1.52 mil to Indian national Zakir Naik over defamatory remarks that he (Ramasamy) had made with full settlement within 30 days (lest a 5% daily interest will be imposed from the day of judgement).
Following this, Tamilar Kural came forward to initiate a crowdfunding exercise which commenced at 2.30pm on Nov 2 till 11am yesterday (Nov 9) when the RM1.52 target was reached – all in less than seven days or 164 hours and 30 minutes.
“In the case of Prof Rama succeeding in the appeal, all the money donated will be channeled to the general public, especially for education and welfare purposes,” the NGO had pointed out.
“Any excess donation beyond RM1.52 mil (a total of RM1,523,187.38 was raised) will be channelled to welfare and education purposes. With this, we hope the general public will support and stand with Prof Ramasamy who has been a voice for the voiceless Malaysians for many years.”
In an earlier opinion editorial, Ramasamy has paid tribute to working class Indians who rose to the occasion by contributing to his “Solidarity with Prof Ramasamy” crowdfunding campaign while describing the feat as “not only overwhelming but quite unprecedented”.
“It had invariably put to shame those who believed that Indians can never come together,” he penned his thoughts.
“Some of my detractors thought that since I had left the DAP, there was no way I could raise the funds. I am sure they are disappointed that leaving the DAP had not visible effect on the raising of public funds.
“On the contrary, leaving the party could have been a blessing in disguise. I am sorry to say that the so-called multi-racial political parties have no place for Indians anymore.” – Nov 10, 2023