Acehtrend.co, GEORGE TOWN: “I have fought for Muslims”, says Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy in the face of intense criticism he has received from some quarters over his remarks regarding controversial Indian Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
In relating his fight for Muslims, Ramasamy said he was actively engaged in helping the downtrodden in the troubled Aceh province in Indonesia in the early 2000s, a move that cost him his academic career, as Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia terminated his contract as an educator.
“At that time, I was the only Malaysian who was part of the movement. No one else dared to join in the struggle as they feared repercussions from Indonesia.
“I was pulled into the movement as I had many Acehnese students.
“I was also an adviser during the Helsinki memorandum of understanding, where a peace accord was signed between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement,” he told FMT.
Aceh was bestowed “special territory” status following the talks, which gave them increased autonomy from the central government in Jakarta.
Ramasamy also said he was an advocate for peace, and had fought against the injustices levelled at the Palestinians as well as the ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka.
“I am a scholar of peace movements. I feel it is good to engage these groups for what they were fighting for. I am for just causes,” he said.
Ramasamy added that Malaysia needed more Islamic scholars like the late PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who had fought for what was right.
“Nik Aziz was a wonderful person. He fought relentlessly against misdeeds. We need more people like that,” he said. (FMT)