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Sunday, August 18, 2019

PM: Zakir Naik has ventured into 'racial politics', not following PR terms



Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is of a view that the controversial preacher Zakir Naik has ventured into "racial politics" following the latter's recent remarks on Chinese and Hindu Malaysians.
Mahathir said the government has no qualm about Zakir giving religious speeches but he said: "It's clear that Zakir wants to participate in racial politics in Malaysia.
"In the first place, I don't know who gave him the permanent resident (PR) status. But to be a permanent resident, you cannot participate in politics.
"You can make religious speeches and preach but he (Zakir) wasn't doing that. He was talking about sending Chinese to China... that's political.

"If you want to talk about religion, go ahead. That is permissible. We don't want to stop him from that," he said in a media conference after opening the 62nd ISI World Statistics Congress in Kuala Lumpur today.
Mahathir said even he himself never asked people of other races to "go back".
"We are very careful about how we say things that are sensitive to different communities in this country," he said.
Mahathir stressed that whatever action was taken against Zakir would be in accordance with the law.
"Now he's steering up racial feeling. That is bad. Because of that, I think the police have to investigate whether he's causing racial unrest... of course, he is.
"So, whatever action that we take will be in accordance with the law," he said.
Zakir made his controversial remarks during a talk in Kelantan on Aug 8 while speaking about the peaceful spread of Islam in the Malay archipelago.
He had remarked that Hindu Malaysians seemed to trust the Indian government more than Mahathir, while also stating that "old guests", referring to the Chinese, to "go back first" if he is to be deported.
For the records, Zakir denied all the allegations against him and claimed that his remarks about both Chinese and Indian Malaysians were taken out of context.
Police had taken Zakir's statement and are expected to continue probing him at Bukit Aman tomorrow after more than 100 police reports were filed against him.
Previously, Putrajaya had refused to deport the preacher despite requests from India, saying he may not receive a fair trial there.
Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had also noted that Zakir is not on Interpol's red notice list as well as not a suspected terrorist listed under the United Nation Security Council Resolutions list.
Mahathir had said that Malaysia would welcome if other countries would like to accept the preacher.
It was reported on May 2017 that Saudi Arabia had granted citizenship to Zakir. - Mkini

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