Ramasamy ordered to pay RM1mil damages to Zakir Naik, High Court rules

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has ordered former Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy to pay more than RM1mil in damages for defaming independent preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

This followed Judge Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz's decision on Thursday (Nov 3) in allowing two suits by Zakir.

The judge also ordered the defendant (Ramasamy) to pay the said amount to the plaintiff (Zakir) within 30 days from Thursday; the two suits were filed respectively in October and December 2019.

Ramasamy attended court while Zakir joined online proceedings as he is in Nigeria for a talk.

In her judgement, judge Hayatul Akmal ruled that Dr Zakir had succeeded in discharging his burden on defamation while the evidence of Ramasamy was primarily untenable to negate these two suits against him.

"I take the evidence by Ramasamy in his defence with an abundance of caution. I am unpersuaded by his arguments. It is my considered view that the evidence of Ramasamy is primarily untenable to negate these two suits against him.

"In my considered determination, Dr Zakir has satisfied three essential elements of the tort of defamation. Looking at the background and complete facts of the present case, the demeanour of Ramasamy in the context in which it was issued, five statements are undoubtedly defamatory that were actuated by malice and anger on the part of Ramasamy towards Dr Zakir.

"Those impugned statements were personal attacks angled to disparage, ridicule and lower Dr Zakir in the eyes of the general public," she said.

The damages include RM1 million for general damages, RM100,000 for compensatory damages, RM100,000 for aggravated damages, and RM250,000 for exemplary damages.

The judge ordered Ramasamy to pay RM70,000 in costs to Dr Zakir.

At the end of proceedings, the judge also ordered Ramasamy to make a public apology to Zakir but Ramasamy’s counsel Razlan Hadri Zulkifli informed the court they would file an application to stay the need for the defendant to apologise to Zakir pending their appeal to the Court of Appeal. - Bernama

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Nation

PM Anwar hopes BEC 2024 will trigger stronger bumiputra economic agenda
Cop shot dead during ops in Ulu Muda Forest Reserve
Over 160 summonses issued in Skudai toll plaza operation
SST hike: 85% of domestic electricity bills in Peninsula not affected
Nik Elin’s case opens doors for more to challenge state syariah laws, says Mohd Na'im
Leap year blessings, parents welcome special births on Feb 29
Momentary chaos hits Selangor state assembly over Sultan's letter to Hadi Awang
Govt should focus on talent in all races to compete globally, says Ramanan
Woman loses almost RM180,000 to phone scammer
Petaling, KL join growing list of places under level 1 heatwave alert

Others Also Read