GEORGE TOWN: Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy is open to a mediated meeting with Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
Dr Ramasamy said he agreed to a proposal by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa to resolve the issue between them behind closed doors.
“Yes, I have agreed to a meeting. It will take place by the end of the month,” he said yesterday.
On Sunday, Dr Mujahid reportedly said that he was willing to be the mediator to resolve differences between Dr Zakir and Dr Ramasamy.
“In a multi-racial and multi-religious country like Malaysia, it is feared that holding an open debate between the two figures could only stir up religious and racial tension.
“Dr Zakir has the right to live in this country as long as he complies with the law,” Dr Mujahid was quoted as saying.
He was commenting on a call by Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin through his Facebook post on July 14, suggesting that Dr Ramasamy and Dr Zakir have an open debate.
In a press statement, Dr Ramasamy said the false claims linking him to terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka was purposely made due to his statements against Dr Zakir.
“I was invited to be a peace consultant between the Sri Lankan government and LTTE in 2003, which was mediated by Norway, when I was a professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in the field of Political Economics and International Conflict Management.
“The efforts failed and eventually LTTE was defeated in May 2009,” he said.
The allegations surfaced after a photo of him and pro-LTTE politician V. Gopalasamy surfaced online.
A number of police reports were lodged against Dr Ramasamy and he had his statement recorded by the police.