PKR lawmaker joins chorus for Zakir Naik’s deportation

Yiswaree Palansamy
Dr Zakir Naik has been living in Malaysia since 2016 where he is a permanent resident. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 ― PKR assemblyman Najwan Halimi is the latest to urge the government to deport divisive India-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

While his party has yet to take an official stand, the Selangor PKR Youth leader made it clear that he is on the side that wants the Islamic evangelist out of the country after the latter’s remarks against Indian and Chinese Malaysians.

“Zakir Naik's disparaging comments is [sic] unacceptable. The government should deport him. He should no longer be allowed to remain in Malaysia,” Kota Anggerik representative Najwan tweeted on August 14.

Other Pakatan Harapan leaders who are against Dr Zakir staying in Malaysia include Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh; Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran; Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar; and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

In contrast, prominent politicians who have openly declared support and solidarity for Dr Zakir to remain in the country are PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and the Islamist party’s Syura Council member Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz who branded non-Muslims against the preacher “enemies” of Islam and Muslims who agree with them “hypocrites and sinners”.

Police are currently investigating Dr Zakir for alleged racial and religious incitement during a lecture in Kota Baru, Kelantan last Saturday.

Dr Zakir, wanted in India on money laundering and hate speech charges, has been living in Malaysia since 2016 where he is a permanent resident.

He has been a divisive figure in Malaysia where he is hugely popular among conservative Muslims while the minorities, especially the ethnic Indian and Chinese, want him out of the country following his repeated remarks against their beliefs.

While Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said the government will not send him back to India despite an extradition request as Dr Zakir risks being killed, Singapore daily The Straits Times today reported the Cabinet has decided the preacher must go.



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