Cops will probe preacher for ‘stirring up racial feelings’: Mahathir
KUALA LUMPUR The rule of law will be imposed on controversial preacher Zakir Naik as he is alleged to have preached racial politics and riled up racial tension, said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir said those holding permanent resident status cannot participate in politics.
"Religious teachers can preach, but he was not doing that. He was talking about sending Chinese back to China and Indians back to India. That is politics," Dr Mahathir said in a press conference yesterday.
Recently, it was reported that Penang, Perlis, Kedah and Sarawak have banned Mr Zakir, who is from India, from speaking publicly.
Dr Mahathir said the government was careful about how it said things that were sensitive to the different communities in this country.
He said: "I have never said this kind of things. But he tells the Chinese to go back. If you want to talk about religion, go ahead, then it is permissible. We don't want to stop him from that. But it is quite clear he wants to participate in racial politics... Now, he is stirring up racial feelings. That is bad."
Dr Mahathir said the police will have to investigate whether he is causing tension or not, which in the Prime Minister's opinion, he obviously was.
"Whatever action we take will be in accordance with the law," he said.
During a religious talk in Kelantan on Aug 8, Mr Zakir responded to calls for his deportation by saying the Malaysian Chinese should "go back" first as they were the "old guests". Prior to this, he said Hindus in Malaysia were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Dr Mahathir. - THE STAR