16 Aug 2019
Malaysia: Zakir Naik banned from addressing event over 'racist remarks'
Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
The Malaysian police on Friday banned controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik from addressing a religious event in the country's Perlis state over the racially sensitive remarks he made on August 8.
Malaysia's Home Minister said he would be summoned for questioning over the "racist statements."
Naik, who was granted permanent residency by Malaysia, has been living there for about three years now.
Naik allegedly made racist remarks against Malaysian Hindus
Naik allegedly made racist remarks against Malaysian Hindus on August 8, saying they were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following which three Malaysian ministers have demanded his expulsion from the country.
Malaysian Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Thursday also said that some elements were spreading "fake news" and making "racist statements... without considering the sensitivities of Malaysians," referring to Naik.
Will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone: Yassin
Yassin also said the police "will be taking stern action on this matter (Naik's racist remarks)," and summoned the Islamic preacher, along with two others, for questioning.
"I wish to remind everyone, including non-Malaysian citizens, that enforcement agencies under my ministry will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone who threatens the harmony and public order of the country," the Home Minister added.
Action to be taken against Naik if he addresses event
Perlis police chief Noor Mushar Mohamad said Naik wouldn't be allowed to address the Malaysia Reverts Camp 2019 in the state being held between August 16-18.
He also said as many as 150 police reports have been lodged against the Islamic preacher.
Mohamad said, "Zakir can come to Perlis, but he can't talk, and action will be taken against him if he does so."
Federal Territories Minister
Respect Malaysia's right to peaceful race relations: Minister tells Naik
Malaysia's Federal Territories Minister, Khalid Abdul Samad, urged Naik to respect the country's right to peaceful race relations.
He said Malaysia could thrive "socially and economically" because of the fact that everyone is respected regardless of their race or religion.
The Minister went on to say that Malaysia was able to accept Naik as a "guest" because of its harmonious and safe political environment.
Allowed residency in Malaysia out of respect for safety: Samad
"Out of respect for his (Naik's) safety, he was allowed residency in our country," said the Malaysia Federal Territories Minister. "It is our hope that he too, can respect our rights for safe and peaceful racial relations," Samad added.
Naik demands an apology from Malaysia's Human Resources Minister
Meanwhile, on Friday, Naik demanded an apology from Malaysia's Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran within 48 hours.
It was Kulasegaran who first raised voice against Naik's controversial statements, demanding action against the preacher. The Minister has criticized Naik in the past too.
A letter by Naik's lawyers said that he will proceed legally if Kulasegaran doesn't meet his demands.
Naik expecting Kulasegaran to offer 'reasonable sum' as settlement: Letter
Claiming that charges leveled by Kulasegaran are untrue, Naik also lodged a police report against the Human Resources Minister, four other politicians, and a former diplomat over their alleged defamatory statements and articles.
The letter by his lawyers also said Naik was expecting a "reasonable sum" from Kulasegaran as settlement for the alleged damage, embarrassment, and dishonor caused by his statements.
Naik faces charges of money laundering, hate speech in India
Naik faces charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, which is also awaiting Malaysia's response on its request for his extradition.
Malaysia's state-run news agency Bernama earlier quoted Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as saying that the preacher can't be sent to India because of concerns over his safety. "If any (other) country wants to have him, they are welcome," Mahathir added.