Malaysian Indian lawmaker sues newspaper for defamation

September 19th, 2008 - 5:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 19 (IANS) Malaysian Indian lawyer-lawmaker Karpal Singh Friday filed for defamation against a Malay newspaper for alleging that he had made observations against Islam.The alleged comments, according to Utusan Malaysia newspaper, were made when Singh welcomed delegates to the Democratic Action Party (DAP) conclave Aug 25, Star Online web site said.

He said the allegation was absolutely false and malicious and was intended to destroy his professional and political career.

Any comments on Islam attract strict reaction, from the government, law and police and religious bodies in the Muslim-majority country.

Singh’s comments came on a day Teresa Kok, a woman fellow lawmaker, was released after a week in detention on charges that she had asked a mosque in her area to lower the volume of public address system at prayer time.

Karpal Singh’s DAP is part of the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR) that is the main opposition in parliament and controls five of the 13 states.

While Singh hails from Punjab, Malaysia has an estimated 2.6 million ethnic Indian population, most of who are Tamils.

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