KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 18): The High Court today allowed an application by Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P Ramasamy to amend his defence statement in a suit filed against him by independent preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
Zakir filed the suit in October last year claiming that Ramasamy had issued defamatory statements against him and linking him to the LTTE issue.
Judge Datuk Mohd Firuz Jaffril allowed Ramasamy’s application after Zakir’s lawyer, Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, informed the court that the plaintiff did not object to it.
"In the case management before this, which was set on July 21, the lawyer for the defendant had expressed intention to amend the defence statement.
“We (plaintiff) had studied the part to be amended and agreed with it,” he added.
The court then set Oct 13 for another case management.
On Oct 16, 2019, Dr Zakir sued Ramasamy for allegedly issuing defamatory statements, which were uploaded on social media sites and news portals between 2016 and 2019.
In the statement of claim, the plaintiff claimed that on April 10, 2016, Ramasamy had defamed him by calling him (Zakir) with an unsavoury name on the defendant's Facebook page and the defendant also again issued a defamatory statement against the plaintiff on Oct 1, 2017, where an article about the preacher was published on the Free Malaysia Today (FMT) news portal on the same day.
Zakir also claimed that on Aug 11, 2019, the defendant had manipulated his speech during an event organised by the Kelantan government and it was also published on the FMT portal on the same day.
Ramasamy, on Aug 20, 2019, was alleged to have issued a defamatory statement against the plaintiff, published by the international media, India Today.
Zakir claimed that these statements had depicted him as a malicious individual and are a threat to the peace and harmony of the country.
Therefore, Zakir is seeking a permanent injunction to restrain the defendant from publishing, distributing, uploading any defamatory statement against him on any medium whatsoever, as well as general, compensatory, aggravated, and exemplary damages, costs on a solicitor and client basis, and any other relief deemed fit by the court.
Zakir filed another suit against Ramasamy in December 2019 over the latter’s comments carried by online news portal The Malaysian Insight regarding the LTTE issues.
The court had fixed five days from March 22 next year to hear both suits, which will be heard together.