Malaysia doesn’t need Zakir Naik, MIC president says

BY RAM ANAND
MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam speaks at the 2050 National Transformation Dialogue session organised by MIC Youth, held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur April 19, 2017. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 ― Controversial Indian Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik has no place in Malaysia, said Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam yesterday.

The MIC president said this to ethnic Indian youths who asked, during a dialogue on the government's National Transformation 2050 (TN50) last night, why the preacher being investigated for terrorism in India was given permanent residency here.

“I don't think Malaysia needs Zakir Naik,” Subramaniam said. “Is he going to contribute to the advancement of Islam in the country? The answer is no.”

“Whatever he is doing, he is doing it outside the Malaysian context,” he added.

The government this week confirmed Dr Zakir was made a permanent resident here five years ago. The revelation drew public criticism owing to ongoing investigations against him in India for promoting terrorism.

Dr Zakir's PR status was a repeated talking point for many participants during the session, many of whom used it as an example to demand for Putrajaya to respect minority sensitivities in the country.

Dr Subramaniam said, however, the preacher was given “too much importance” locally.

“This is a reflection of our current religious dynamics. The issue for us is how we are going to manage these religious dynamics,” he said.

He also warned that not managing such matters and any perceived discrimination could prove the biggest hurdle for the TN50.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also attended the dialogue session, which was organised by several Indian NGOs.

The dialogue received aspirations from 62 participants, which Khairy said was the highest recorders in any TN50 engagement so far.

Announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, TN50 aims to build a community vision for Malaysians ahead of 2050, via a series of nationwide dialogue sessions.