Banned from public speaking — a ban that is enforced all over Malaysia — controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik apologised to Malaysians.
In a video, which is his favoured means of communication, the Indian fugitive living in Malaysia with a PR status or red identity card says he did not intend to hurt the feelings of the locals.
Zakir Naik issued an apology for the hurt caused by his speeches to non-Muslims, saying he is not a racist and his remarks were “used selectively with fabrications added to them.”
“I have always been a man of peace because that’s what the Quran stands for. It has been my mission to spread peace throughout the world. Unfortunately, I do face detractors who try to prevent me from carrying out my mission.”
“As you must have noticed for the past few days, I am being accused of causing racial discord in the country and my detractors have been using selected sentences taken out of context and adding strange fabrications into them,” he said in a statement this morning.
The police today told Malay Mail the authorities issued a blanket ban on Zakir from delivering public talks across Malaysia.
Bukit Aman Corporate Communications head Asmawati Ahmad confirmed the order to Malay Mail. The order was issued in the interest of national security, she said.
“Yes. Such an order has been given to all police contingents, and this was done in the interest of national security and to preserve racial harmony,” she said.
The police issued a circular to all police contingents nationwide instructing them on the ban order.
Meanwhile, the government is also looking into ways to curtail Zakir Naik’s influence on Malaysians of non-Islamic faith.
One of the means could be to remove his PR status. But if that is the case, he will have to leave the country once a ‘tourist’ or ‘visitor’ visa issued to him expires.
However, TISG did not get confirmation of the move to remove Zakir’s PR status.
A source said it is one of the possible action the authorities might take to either get rid of the controversial figure or scale down his free speech.
It is a speech he delivered in the Party Islam se-Malaysia controlled state Kelantan that brought Zakir into troubled waters.
He said Hindus in Malaysia were more loyal to the Indian prime minister than Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He also suggested that the Chinese community were “old guests” in Malaysia and should leave before asking “new guests” like him to do so. -/TISG
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