Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam described controversial preacher Zakir Naik as an “avoidable distraction” for Malaysia, warning that he could undermine the country’s unity.
“Malaysia’s Islamic foundation or its multi-religious national texture is certainly not going to be nourished by Zakir Naik’s preaching.
“On the contrary, it would only be inciting divisive forces to distort the unifying tenets of Islam as (is) currently practised in the country,” he said in a statement today.
Subramaniam, who is also MIC president, pointed out that Zakir Naik’s evangelist TV channel featuring his sermons have been banned in several countries including Bangladesh, Canada and the UK.
“When a large Muslim country like Bangladesh has taken action against Zakir Naik , we in Malaysia should never allow a proven provocateur to remain in our midst advocating his nefarious and divisive form of Islamic worldview.
“Given the space, Zakir Naik would also infiltrate into our national space to disrupt national harmony, which could lead to undesirable actions of grave consequence to national peace and stability,” he said.
Subramaniam said Malaysia has good religious scholars to turn to without the need for Zakir.
“We, as a nation,, do not need Zakir Naik when our own Islamic scholars are far more adept and competent in advocating the Islamic faith to Malaysians befitting our own national heritage and rich and pluralistic history,” he said.
Subramaniam stressed that Zakir should not be allowed to use his “questionable” religious credentials to solicit support in Malaysia in trying to escape prosecution in India.
Zakir, who has a Malaysian permanent resident, is presently wanted by Indian law enforcement for money-laundering offences.
He is presently residing in Malaysia and right-wing group Perkasa has embraced him, even granting him an honorary membership.- Mkini