Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he is not deporting controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik nor will he order the revocation of his Permanent Residence status.

It maybe a relief for the Indian Muslim man living in Malaysia under strict Permanent Residence, but he is facing a nationwide ban from speaking in public.

In Malaysia, as a permanent resident, he carries a red identification card.

But he cannot engage in any political activities, join a political party or vote in any elections.

The police have barred him from public speeches all over the country.

Dr Mahathir said today (August 23) he has not changed his position on Dr Zakir Naik who is being investigated over recent controversial remarks.

“At this moment, there is no change,” he told reporters after attending a gathering with civil servants.

Dr Mahathir said as a PR Zakir is not supposed to meddle in the political affairs of the country and his speech in Kelantan appears to have violated these rules.

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Politicians, including Dr Mahathir, say Zakir interfered in local politics with the Kelantan speech.

His Kelantan speech caused protests from Chinese and Hindu politicians and organisations, calling for his PR status revocation and his deportation to India where he is wanted by the police.

Police summoned Naik to record his statement after more than 115 police reports were lodged against him. Complainants against Zakir made new police reports yesterday, say news reports.

The controversial preacher issued an apology via his Facebook page on August 20, Wednesday, the same day that a ban on his preaching was reported on Malaysian national news agency Bernama.

Dr Zakir had stirred up trouble for himself when he made a speech on August 8, claiming that Hindus in Malaysia are more loyal to Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, than they are to Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s Prime Minister. He also referred to the country’s Malaysian Chinese as its “new guests.” -/TISG