Resign if you disagree with Zakir Naik’s PR, Perkasa tells MIC chief

BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali (right) speaks during a press conference after the 'IJTEMA of 150 Malaysian Muslim Scholars with Dr Zakir Naik' event in Kuala Lumpur April 16, 2017. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 ― Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali has urged Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam today to step down from the Cabinet if he cannot agree with Putrajaya’s decision to grant permanent residency (PR) to fugitive preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

According to the Malay rights activist, Dr Subramaniam has committed ultra vires, or acting beyond his legal power and authority, by opposing Putrajaya’s decision to award the PR to the Indian televangelist.

“He’s a Cabinet minister, the decision was made by the minister of home affairs. If you don’t agree, then just resign… ultra vires,” Ibrahim told the press.

Earlier this week, Dr Subramaniam had said that Malaysia cannot permit the controversial preacher to use the country as a haven from a terrorism investigation simply because of his religious credentials.

MCA’s Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Datuk Ti Lian Ker has also questioned the move, pointing to Dr Zakir’s ability to cause uneasiness and discomfort among the multireligious and multiracial communities here.

Other Barisan Nasional leaders such as Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing was also reported as saying that the Indian preachers is “dangerous”, echoing other local leaders there who rejected Dr Zakir’s presence.

Dr Zakir is now the subject of two non-bailable arrest warrants in his home country of India, the latest from a terrorism-related investigation there.

Recently, deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed that Dr Zakir was given permanent residency five years ago, causing a furore among many non-Muslims locally.

Dr Zakir is a polarising personality in Malaysia, alternately held in esteem by some in the Muslim community and reviled by those of other faiths due to his provocative teachings.

The local Hindu community, in particular, remains aggrieved with the preacher owing to remarks he previously made regarding their faith.

Last week, Perkasa had made Dr Zakir a honorary member, and given him an award called “Anugerah Bintang Pahlawan Pribumi Perkasa Negara”.

Perkasa has also intervened in a civil suit filed by 19 activists against the government to arrest and deport Dr Zakir.