Source : Malaysiakini
A 57-year-old man has threatened to sue Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for uttering the racist slur ‘pariah' in a televised press conference a few days ago, unless the lawyer publicly apologises to the Indian community.
Unemployed A Retanam from Sitiawan, Perak has lodged a police report accusing Muhammad Shafee Abdullah of being a racist and hurting the sentiments of the Indian community by repeatedly attacking blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin with the word ‘pariah' in the news conference last Sunday.
He lodged the report against the lawyer at the Lumut police station on Tuesday, calling on him to apologise to the Indian community in the next three days.
"Otherwise, I will sue him on behalf of all Indian Malaysians," he told Malaysiakini.
Retanam said he came to Penang with the sole purpose of giving a statement to Malaysiakini, which he believed will make his complaint public.
"I have tried giving my statement to other mainstream press in Perak, but none dared to publish it," he said.
Retanam passed a copy of his police report to Malaysiakini today and said a Bukit Aman investigating officer recorded his statement via telephone a few hours after he had lodged the report.
A ‘sensitive' word
Retanam complained that Muhammad Shafee had indiscriminately used the word ‘pariah' several times when verbally attacking Raja Petra at a news conference, and claimed that Indians sentiments in country have been hurt by the lawyer's racist slur.
Although it has been accepted as an English term to describe an outcast of society, Retanam said ‘pariah' was a Tamil word reserved for low-caste Indians and indiscriminate public usage of the word was considered ‘sensitive' to the community.
"I am giving Muhammad Shafee a three-day ultimatum.
"After which, I will initiate legal proceedings against him if he refuses to make a public apology for hurting the community's sentiments," said Retanam.
Muhammad Shafee had held the press conference to deny Raja Petra's allegation that he had a hand in a sodomy conspiracy against Anwar Ibrahim. The furious lawyer had called the blogger various names and repeatedly used the word ‘pariah.'
Last Wednesday, the High Court ordered Raja Petra to reveal the source of the allegations against Muhammad Shafee in three online articles relating to the sodomy charge against Anwar.