Mujahid brokers a ‘ceasefire’

Let peace reign: Dr Mujahid (centre) is all smiles after the meeting between Dr Asri and Dr Ramasamy in Putrajaya ended on a friendly note.

PUTRAJAYA: Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy and Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin have agreed to put a stop on their spat over Dr Zakir Naik and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The consensus was reached during a mee­ting between the two, which was mediated by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof at his office here yesterday.

“Both have agreed to leave the matter to the Government and the authorities.

“They will not be discussing it anymore,” he told a joint press conference with Dr Mohd Asri and Dr Ramasamy after the 40-minute meeting.

“Dr Ramasamy didn’t know that Dr Asri was also from Penang ... so this kind of thing is good,” he quipped.

Dr Mujahid, who is in charge of Islamic affairs, said the meeting also focused on the need to create a platform to discuss issues that could potentially trigger racial or religious tension.

Dr Mohd Asri said the meeting proved that differences in opinions could be resolved through discussion.

“We have found the channel to discuss the matters,” he added.

Dr Mohd Asri said on the issue of Dr Zakir’s permanent residency, he and Dr Ramasamy agreed that the Muslim preacher can remain in Malaysia as long as he abides by the country’s laws and cultural norms.

Dr Ramasamy described the meeting as a success and a positive step towards promoting Malaysian Islamic Development Department’s (Jakim) role in helping to defuse potential racial or religious tensions by promoting discussions.

“If the nation’s harmony is our main focus, then I am willing to discuss with anyone as racial-religious harmony is very important and we do not want Malaysia to be trapped by such issues,” he added.

Dr Mujahid initiated the meeting following the exchange of statements between Dr Ramasamy and Dr Mohd Asri on their differences over the two subjects.

The feud arose after Dr Mohd Asri, through his Facebook posting on July 14, had sug­gested that Dr Ramasamy and Dr Zakir have an open debate to determine who was the “real terrorist”.

This accusation came after Dr Ramasamy was accused of having links to the LTTE, which he said was false.

Dr Ramasamy responded that he is open to a mediated meeting with the Muslim preacher to resolve the issue between them behind closed doors.

He said that the false claims linking him to terrorist group LTTE in Sri Lanka was purposely made due to his statements against Dr Zakir.

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