KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The Cabinet must discuss controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik’s alleged interference in local politics when it meets tomorrow, Klang MP Charles Santiago has urged in a strongly-worded statement today.
The Klang MP said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has created a safe space for controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir to preach in Malaysia and it’s given the impetus on the opposition parties like PAS to take advantage and create racial disharmony.
“It’s crucial that Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting discusses Zakir’s meddling into Malaysian politics and comes up with a decision that would put the people’s interest and national security above all else,” said Charles.
He said Dr Zakir’s malicious words have the explosive potential of stirring a racial riot, and the fugitive wanted by Indian authorities on money laundering and terrorism charges is using a religious platform to sow bitterness amongst Malaysians.
“Drawing parallels between Malaysian Hindus and Indian Muslims in India and claiming the former enjoys way bigger privileges despite constituting a lesser percentage of the total population is akin to incitement.
“If I remember correctly, aren’t people nabbed for inflammatory speeches?” asked Charles.
In a speech in Kota Baru recently, Dr Zakir was reported to have compared the Hindus in Malaysia to the Muslims in India, saying that the Hindus here enjoyed more than 100 per cent rights in Malaysia compared to Muslims in India.
He also alleged that the Hindus here were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Dr Mahathir.
Santiago also claimed that Dr Zakir seemed to be treated like a “demi-God”, as he was accompanied by police outriders and flashy cars, the likes reserved only for Hollywood celebrities or royalty.
“It’s obvious that he is bending over backwards like a trapeze artist to curry favour with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has refused to extradite him despite India’s request,” he added.