High Court allows Perkasa's Ibrahim to be intervenor in Zakir Naik suit

Shanti Gunaratnam

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today allowed Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) president Datuk Ibrahim Ali's application to be an intervenor in a lawsuit by 19 human rights activists against the government and four others, for harbouring controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

High Court judge Datuk Wira Kamaludin Md Said allowed Ibrahim's application when the matter came up for case management in his chambers.

Counsel Adnan Seman, speaking to reporters, said he explained to the judge that Ibrahim had applied to become an intervenor in the lawsuit because Perkasa, as a Malay NGO, is obliged to protect Islam, the religion of the Federation.

"The plaintiffs and defendants also did not object to Ibrahim becoming an intervenor in this lawsuit and therefore the judge allowed the application," said Adnan.

Ibrahim filed his application to become an intervenor at the High Court Registry on March 14, 2017.

He claimed that he applied to intervene because the suit has affected the rights of Muslims to listen and gain knowledge from talks and sermons presented by Dr Zakir.

The case had been fixed for management on July 20.

On March 1, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairman P. Waytha Moorthy and 18 others filed an originating summons seeking a court order to declare that the presence of Dr Zakir in Malaysia is a threat to national security and harmony in the country.

They also claimed that the Islamic preacher has encouraged terrorism and is banned in several countries on suspicion of working with terrorist groups.

They are seeking an order to stop Dr Zakir from remaining in the country and are pushing for his immediate arrest, among others.

In their legal action, they named Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, director-general of the Immigration Department, director-general of the National Registration Department, Inspector-General of Police and the Government as the defendants.

Counsel S. Kavittha appeared for the plaintiffs, while Senior Federal Counsel Haryati Ahmad represented the defendants.