Dr Zakir Naik leaves after five-hour meet with Bukit Aman over inflammatory remarks

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik (right) leaves Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur August 16, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — Controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik spent around five hours today recording his statements with federal police after he was summoned to Bukit Aman over his statements during an event in Kelantan last weekend. 

The preacher, said to have arrived at the police headquarters at around 3pm, was seen leaving in a black Toyota Innova MPV at 8.15pm. 

Dr Zakir, dressed in a white shirt with his customary white “kopiah” or skullcap, left without addressing the horde of media personnel standing by outside the headquarters in anticipation of his departure. 

It is understood that Dr Zakir had his statements taken by investigators from Bukit Aman’s Prosecution/Law division (D5). 

The Royal Malaysian Police have yet to release an official statement over investigations into Dr Zakir and his remarks. 

Dr Zakir is being investigated under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace after getting 115 public complaints over his latest remarks during a lecture in Kota Baru, Kelantan last Saturday.

Hugely popular among conservative Muslim Malaysians, the Islamic preacher has drawn flak from the minority ethnic Indians and Chinese for his inflammatory remarks against them and their religious beliefs during the event. 

There, Dr Zakir was reported by news portal Malaysiakini to have claimed Indian Malaysians were more loyal to the Narendra Modi government of India than the Mahathir administration. 

The Mumbai-born was also reported to have called Chinese Malaysians “old guests” who should go back to their ancestral lands before he should be made to leave the country.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Dr Zakir’s Permanent Residency status could be revoked by Putrajaya should it be proven that his actions have harmed the country’s well-being. 

Dr Mahathir had said the government would first wait for the result of the police investigation into the fugitive preacher’s alleged inflammatory remarks against minorities in this country, before deciding the next course of action. 

Previously, the Warisan-led Sabah government has said it would ban entry to Dr Zakir if he continued to make incendiary religious speeches.

In a statement last night, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin issued a warning that action will be taken against anyone who disrupts Malaysia’s harmony and public order, whether they are citizens or not.

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