PETALING JAYA: Zamihan Mat Zin (pic) said he would take legal action against news portals if they do not retract and apologise for their articles over a viral video where he allegedly criticised the Sultan of Johor.
The Pertubuhan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah Malaysia (Aswaja) president said that he would give a number of news portals, as well as former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, seven days to retract their articles and to publicly apologise to him.
"If they fail to do so, I will take legal action against them for defaming me without prejudice," Zamihan said in a statement Wednesday.
The Home Ministry on Tuesday said that it would be investigating Zamihan over the viral video in which he reportedly said it was wrong of Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar to prohibit a Muslim-only laundrette from operating in the state.
In the same video, Zamihan labelled Chinese people as being "unhygienic".
However, in his statement on Wednesday, Zamihan said that he never mentioned the name of the Johor Sultan and neither did he use any abusive or seditious words.
"I am prepared to be investigated under the philosophy of courage because I am right and fearful because of Allah's judgement.
"Regardless, it is only fair that the 'republic agenda' preached by a handful of liberal Muslim preachers in the country be investigated as well for destroying the sultanate system," he said.
Zamihan said that he apologises to the Johor Sultan if he had been offended over the misunderstanding, and said he was prepared to meet him to explain and apologise face-to-face.
Zamihan said that he had also been incorrectly identified as a Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) officer in the articles.
"While I only worked one year (with Jakim) in 2005 and later in 2006 when I worked with another department, it has been almost 13 years since I worked with Jakim," he said.
He said the religious lecture he gave at the Masjid Tengku Ampuan Jemaah in Shah Alam on Sunday, which was captured in the video, was given purely in his capacity as Aswaja president and had no connection to the religious department.
Last month, it was reported that two laundrettes were barring non-Muslim customers.
Sultan Ibrahim said he was unhappy with the launderette and demanded that the owner apologise to him and the people as this went against the vision of a united, harmonious, moderate and tolerant Johor.
In an exclusive report by The Star on Sept 27, His Majesty said: "I cannot accept this nonsense. This is Johor, which belongs to Bangsa Johor and it belongs to all races and faiths. This is a progressive, modern and moderate state."
The owner of the launderette later apologised for his actions and opened his door to all customers.
On Sept 28, the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullai, visited a similar launderette in Kangar with his mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin to tell its owner why his business model was not acceptable.
The 36-year-old owner then opened his outlet to all customers, too.