Rejecting the idea of a debate between Zakir Naik and the Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy, P. Waythamoorthy said it was not a good idea for Malaysia.
Waytha Moorthy is a founder of the Hindraf movement in Malaysia, became a minister in the Prime Minister’s office under Najib Razak and is now appointed as minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of national unity and social well-being.
Once accused of being an extremist, Waytha Moorthy projected a new image this time around, speaking calmly and giving a good reason why the debate with Zakir Naik should not go on.
He said such a debate will not benefit Malaysia as it would not bode well for the country’s national unity.
Waytha was once seen as a threat to national unity himself when he was still running the Hindraf movement into the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
“The debate is not necessary, it is irrelevant. How is it going to benefit our country? We are talking about a united Malaysia, how is this debate going to help? It’s not.
“The reason for the debate as far as I am concerned doesn’t make sense. So we should just leave it,” he added.
Ramasamy did not respond to Waytha’s rejection of the debate idea. He is known as a fierce critic of Zakir.
Ramasamy said he welcomes any debate on comparative religion with Zakir.
However, the debate may still take place, if both Zakir and Ramasamy decide to go ahead with it.
Nevertheless, it will not be a good idea for Zakir altogether, since he promised he will behave while he enjoys the extension of his stay in the country.
Zakir’s continued stay in Malaysia is seen as negative by a certain community in the country. Three Pakatan Harapan ministers said they raised the issue of his prolonged stay with PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir made it clear on several occasions that he has no intention of kicking Zakir out of Malaysia despite calls by his cabinet ministers.
The ministers claimed they wanted him out since India made a formal request for Zakir’s deportation.
Malaysia said ‘niet’ to the deportation and Interpol altogether refused to aceed to India’s request to put the firebrand Muslim preacher on a red corner notice.