PETALING JAYA, August 21 — While he is free to preach in this country, fugitive televangelist Dr Zakir Naik should not have insulted any ethnic groups in Malaysia, PKR organising secretary Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said today.
The Setiawangsa MP said the party respects any decision made by the authorities regarding the controversial preacher who is currently under criminal investigation over his alleged inflammatory remarks against minorities here.
“PKR respects the decision of the authorities and police that Dr Zakir Naik is not allowed to preach in public space. Although we acknowledge his right to preach, but he should not have used the forum to attack any races in this country.
“We leave the matter of his permanent residency status to the authorities according to the rule of law and human rights,” Nik Nazmi told a press conference.
The party also calls for everyone to respect ethnic sensitivity and that matters such as insulting the military by tycoon Tan Sri Koon Yew Yin will not be repeated.
Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador had yesterday confirmed that Dr Zakir has been barred from speaking publicly on all platforms in the country, including social media.
The Indian-born preacher who is a fugitive from his home country had incurred the wrath of a government that was previously apologetic to his behaviour after he made race-based comments during a forum in Kelantan.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has since said that “it was quite clear” Dr Zakir had attempted to incite racial hate.
Dr Mahathir said Dr Zakir overstepped the line when he told ethnic Chinese to “go back first” and questioned the loyalty of Malaysian-Indians in two separate instances, calling the Mumbai-born preacher’s words incendiary.
The prime minister’s comment is likely the strongest censure made so far towards the controversial preacher.
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