Just revoke Zakir Naik’s PR status and let him decide where to go, lawyer tells Putrajaya

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Lawyer Syahredzan Johan suggested the government could just revoke fugitive televangelist Dr Zakir Naik’s permanent residence (PR) status. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Lawyer Syahredzan Johan has suggested today for Putrajaya to simply revoke fugitive televangelist Dr Zakir Naik’s permanent residence (PR) status, following his reported inflammatory remarks against non-Malays here.

The aide to DAP MP Lim Kit Siang said the controversial preacher’s status can be revoked under the Immgration Act 1959/63 since his remarks have allegedly prejudiced public order.

“To prevent any untoward situation if he is sent back to India, the government can immediately revoke the Malaysian PR status he has,” Syahredzan said in a statement.

“With this, Dr Zakir Naik can find other countries himself to protect him and leave Malaysia.”

Dr Zakir was awarded the PR status in 2015 under then Barisan Nasional government.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir alleged that Dr Zakir runs the risk of being killed if the controversial televangelist is deported back home to India to face charges of money laundering and inspiring terrorism.

However, the prime minister said he is open to the idea of sending the fugitive Indian national to other countries, following renewed backlash against the preacher for his remarks against non-Malays.

This comes after Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh urged Putrajaya to deport Dr Zakir to Saudi Arabia instead, if it is worried that the Indian government may discriminate against the fugitive preacher.

He also said that there is no proof that the televangelist will be killed if he is sent back to India to answer for his criminal charges, despite Dr Mahathir’s claim earlier.

Arab media outlets had reported that Dr Zakir was awarded Saudi citizenship in 2017.

In May, the televangelist conceded that he is willing to face justice back in India, but only if he is not arrested there until he is tried in court and convicted.

Dr Zakir has been evading Indian authorities since 2016, when files were opened against him for allegedly making hate speeches and laundering money after five militants launched an attack on a bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh that ended with 29 dead.

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