KANGAR, Perlis: Malaysian police have barred controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik from speaking in the northern state of Perlis, following a public uproar over his racially insensitive remarks.
Perlis police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Noor Mushar Mohd warned on Friday (Aug 16) that action would be taken against Naik if he defies the police order and speaks at the Malaysia Reverts Camp 2019, which will be held in a mosque over the weekend.
“Zakir can come to Perlis, but he can’t talk and action will be taken against him if he does so,” the police chief was quoted as saying by the Star.
SAC Noor Mushar added that Naik will have to alert the police 10 days ahead of any future speaking engagements, and the topic of his talk must also be made known to authorities.
“We are a multiracial country and the sensitivities of others have to be taken into consideration,” he said.
Naik, who holds Malaysian permanent residency, is wanted in his home country of India for charges of money laundering and hate speech. However, the Malaysian government has refused to hand him over to India.
Speaking at Kota Baru, Kelantan, last week, Naik said Hindus in Malaysia enjoyed “100 times more rights” than Muslims in India, and that they believed in the Indian government more than the Malaysian one.
Responding to calls for his deportation, he suggested that Malaysian Chinese should leave the country first as they were the “old guests” of the country.
His remarks have drawn immediately strong criticisms from Malaysians of all races, as well as Pakatan Harapan (PH) ministers who called for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to expel him.
A total of 115 police reports have been lodged against Naik so far, prompting the police to open an investigation against him under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.
On Tuesday, Dr Mahathir said the fugitive televangelist cannot be sent back to India for fear that he may be killed.
“So he’s here today, but if any country wants to have him, they are welcome,” he said.
In voicing his appreciation towards Dr Mahathir’s decision for not deporting Naik, the president of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia Abdul Hadi Awang said “more than 1 million” members of the Islamist party would defend Naik.
NAIK DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM MINISTER
Meanwhile, Naik on Friday served a letter of demand to Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran over the latter’s press statement, reported the Star.
Naik claimed that the statement, titled “Zakir Naik’s presence in Malaysia is embarrassing to all Malaysians”, had painted him as a dishonest person who would abuse Islam for his own selfish purpose, and who unfairly and dishonestly accused Malaysian Hindus of being disloyal to Malaysia.
The preacher wanted an apology from Mr Kulasegaran, who was among the federal ministers speaking out against him.