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Malaysia

Zakir's lawyers give Kula 48 hours to apologise

Preacher Zakir Naik has given Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran (photo, above) 48 hours to apologise for making allegedly defamatory remarks against the former.

Zakir is also expecting Kulasegaran to offer a "reasonable sum" as settlement for the damage, embarrassment, humiliation and dishonour suffered from the allegedly defamatory statement.

According to the letter of demand to Kulasegaran, Zakir's lawyers are under strict instructions to initiate legal proceedings if the demands are not met.

The letter, prepared by Akberdin Abdul Kader, was served today at Kulasegaran's office in Putrajaya. It is understood that Kulasegaran is currently abroad on official duty.

Kulasegaran was alleged to have defamed Zakir in a press statement issued on Aug 13 to criticise the preacher's speech in Kelantan.

Among others, Zakir had said Malaysians of Indian origin "support the prime minister of India but not the prime minister of Malaysia" and "the Hindu Malaysians, most of them are supporting the prime minister of India".  

Akberdin said Kulasegaran's press statement imputed that their client Zakir was a dishonest person who would abuse the Islamic religion for selfish purposes and had dishonestly accused Hindu Malaysians of being disloyal to Malaysia.

Kulasegaran was also accused of imputing Zakir of attempting to cause disharmony among Malaysians, that he did not deserve to be accorded permanent resident status, of saying that Hindus in Malaysia are more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and that the preacher is partisan in Malaysian politics.

Akberdin said all the allegedly defamatory statements were untrue and designed to subject their client to public odium and humiliation.

Zakir also accused Kulasegaran of misusing the Human Resources Ministry official letterhead for personal and political gain and unilaterally issuing statements against the notion of collective responsibility.

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