Zakir Naik gone too far


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Veterans group Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan believes Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik has gone overboard with his racial, religious provocation after questioning the loyalty of Malaysians of Indian ancestry.

Its president, retired Brigadier-General Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said Patriot had refrained from criticism, but the Mumbai-born preacher’s latest remarks during a public lecture in Kota Baru, Kelantan last Friday were the last straw.

“Zakir Naik spoke and questioned the loyalty of Malaysians of Indian origin, trying to curry favour of our prime minister,” he said in a statement today.

Arshad said Indian Malaysians are like citizens of other ethnic groups and have contributed greatly to Malaysia, including serving in the armed forces.

He added that by questioning their loyalty to Malaysia’s King and country showed Dr Zakir is not only ignorant but dishonest with a hidden agenda.

He noted that it was not Dr Zakir’s first time making incendiary remarks about people of different religions and beliefs, recalling his past comments about Hindus in Malaysia and “loose cannon” allegations that the Chinese government denied Uighur Muslims in the republic their right to fast, learn the Quran and even forced them to imbibe alcohol.

He said Patriot advised Dr Zakir to “shut up” and strictly to preaching purely about Islam and not continue overstepping his bounds by encroaching into politics and Malaysia’s international relations with other countries.

Arshard said anything to do with Uighur Muslims is best left to the Foreign Ministry, and that it is not for Dr Zakir to instigate the uninformed public, and arouse hatred and animosity towards China.

“Especially at a time when our relations with China is improving. Furthermore, trade and infrastructure investment are also at stake,” he added.

Patriot’s statement was echoed by DAP lawmaker RSN Rayer, who appealed to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to not let Dr Zakir destroy the country.

“I think Dr Zakir Naik crossed the line when he recently questioned the loyalty of Malaysian Indians or Malaysian Hindus in his speech, mischievously suggesting they were more supportive and loyal to Narendra Modi than to you as our prime minister,” the Jelutong MP said in a separate statement today.

Rayer asked Dr Mahathir to intervene in the matter of Dr Zakir by deporting the Malaysian permanent resident to curb the erosion of public confidence in the Pakatan Harapan government.

“I implore you to listen to the ever-growing number of pleas and send Dr Zakir Naik back to his country of origin or anywhere else as he is causing more destruction, disunity, distrust, and damage to the delicate race relations in this country,” he said.