Asia Malaysia Anwar, Mahathir to discuss and decide Zakir Naik's fate this week: Source

Anwar, Mahathir to discuss and decide Zakir Naik’s fate this week: Source

The source says the discussion will take place after the weekly cabinet meeting and the controversial preacher is to meet one of the two leaders to explain his recent statements

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Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim, the PM-to-be of Malaysia are expected to come to a decision on Malaysia’s next move in relation to controversial Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik.

The source says the discussion will take place after the weekly cabinet meeting in Malaysia. Zakir Naik is to meet one of the two leaders to explain his recent speech which caused an outburst.

Several Malaysian political figures and civil society leaders took offence against Zakir’s speech in Kelantan. However, people defending Zakir Naik said the speech was taken out of context.

Zakir made the controversial remarks during a talk in Kelantan on Aug 8. In a video (here) he spoke about the peaceful spread of Islam in the Malay archipelago.

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He also remarked that Hindu Malaysians loved Indian PM Narendra Modi more than Dr Mahathir and also stated that “old guests” (Chinese) must “go back first” if he is to be sent back to India.

Before this rage against Zakir, Dr Mahathir said he is not willing to send the controversial preacher to India because he feared he will be killed there.

Some support Zakir’s statement that his opponents in Malaysia distorted the facts from his speech and got them published in the local media in order to damage his relations with the Pakatan government.

However, Dr Mahathir has indicated that he is losing patience with the Zakir issue.

On Sunday, he expressed the view that Zakir Naik has ventured into “racial politics” following the latter’s recent remarks on Chinese and Hindu Malaysians.

He also said it’s clear the latter wants to engage in racial politics in Malaysia.

In a video circulating on Whatsapp, Dr Mahathir says, “In the first place, I don’t know who gave him the permanent resident (PR) status. But to be a permanent resident, you cannot participate in politics.”

He said he has no problem if Zakir gives religious speeches, but not to violate the deal he has with the Pakatan.

Dr Mahathir referred to Zakir’s alleged statement about sending Malaysian Chinese back to China.

“You can make religious speeches and preach but he (Zakir) wasn’t doing that. He was talking about sending Chinese to China… that’s political,” says Dr Mahathir.

But the Prime Minister says what action the government will take against Zakir will be according to the law.

“Now he’s stirring up racial feeling. That is bad. Because of that, I think the police have to investigate whether he’s causing racial unrest… of course, he is,” says Dr M.

-/TISG

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