Kuala Lumpur— Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran issued a statement calling for “necessary action” to be taken against Indian preacher Zakir Naik, saying that it’s time for Dr Zakir to leave Malaysia, and to face charges against him in India.
In his statement which is dated August 13th and is entitled “Zakir Naik’s presence in Malaysia is embarrassing to all Malaysians,” Mr Kulasegaran calls the Indian preacher out for “questioning the loyalty of Malaysian Hindus and touching a raw nerve in our Multi-ethnic society.”
The Human Resources Minister claims that the preacher “should not be given such privilege to run down other Malaysians, what more in questioning their loyalty to the country” since he us an “outsider,” a “fugitive” and has “little knowledge of Malaysian history.”
Furthermore, he said that Dr Zakir’s permanent resident status in the country will be discussed in the forthcoming Cabinet Meeting.
The Minister also expressed his concerns that the Indian preacher is trying to divide Malaysian society in order to remain in the country and asked,
“Is Naik also leveraging the current polemics related to race and religion in the country for his biased survival and benefits vide the taxpayers’ money?…
Should Malaysians be split over a man called Zakir Naik?”
And because he is a threat to the hard-won peace and harmony in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society such as Malaysia due to his “religious and racial sentiments,” Mr Kulasegaran says that Malaysians must unite against him and that Dr Zakir needs to leave the country.
The Minister gave the following example of the Indian preacher’s divisive speech, “Naik recently compared the Hindus in Malaysia to the Muslims in India and said that the former enjoyed more than 100% rights in Malaysia compared to Muslims in India. He further said that it was unfortunate that Hindus in Malaysia, despite the benefits, are more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Tun Dr Mahathir.”
He added, “If one relates his tribalism speech in Kota Baharu, it further seems to co-relate the Umno/Pas tactics that destabilizes the Pakatan Harapan coalition Government through ethno-religious sentiments which is a regretful misuse of religion in this country.”
Charges of money laundering have been filed against Dr Zakir back in India, and he has also been accused of inciting extremism. He has been living in Malaysia for the past few years, and was given permanent resident status in 2015.
There have been attempts from India to extradite the controversial preacher, something that Malaysia has yet to agree on, due to the possibility that Dr Zakir may not get a fair trial back home.
In July, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad said that Dr Zakir is an unwelcome guest in the country but that finding a country that would shelter him is proving to be difficult.
“We have a multi-racial, multi-religious population in Malaysia. We don’t want anybody who comes up and expresses extreme views about race relations and other religions. But on the other hand, it is difficult to send him anywhere else because many countries do not want to have him,” Dr Mahathir said on July 31. /TISG