Court junks suit seeking Zakir Naik's expulsion

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali and his lawyer, Adnan Seman after a court hearing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, February 13, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali and his lawyer, Adnan Seman after a court hearing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, February 13, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — The High Court dismissed today a lawsuit by a group of activists against the government for providing permanent residency to controversial Indian preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

Lawyer Adnan Seman, who appeared for Malay rights group Perkasa that acted as an intervenor, said Justice Datin Azizah Nawawi found that Hindraf erred by failing to make Dr Zakir a party to the action.

He added that the judge said it was imperative to involve the preacher as any decision in the case would “have an immediate impact on his life.”

“This is the reason the suit was struck out,” said Adnan.

The plaintiffs were also instructed to pay RM5,000 in costs.

Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali said today’s decision proved Dr Zakir is a “world class preacher” and “clean”.

“The allegations against Dr Zakir — claiming that his sermons have inspired terrorists — are not true. The perception against him has been created by certain parties with their own agenda.

“So I hope with this decision Dr Zakir can move freely, can give his sermons and he will be left alone,” said Ibrahim.

Lawyer S. Karthigesan who acted for the plaintiffs said his clients have instructed him to appeal the decision.

However, he said they will still not make Dr Zakir party to the action.

“We will maintain what we have at the moment because the position of the things we filed; the issue is a threat to the security so it is not against the individual but rather on a public policy, national security is a matter of concerned citizen,” he said

The suit was filed on March 1 last year by Hindraf chairman P. Waytha Moorthy, academic Dr Lim Teck Ghee, Sabah lawmaker Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, lawyers Siti Kassim and Asiah Abd Jalil, and Sarawak activist Peter John Jaban.

They were seeking two court declarations, including one to declare that Dr Zakir a threat to Malaysia’s security and friendly relations between Malaysia and other countries, as well as a threat to public order in the country.

They also sought to declare Dr Zakir unfit to be a permanent resident of Malaysia.

The five listed as defendants in the judicial review are the government of Malaysia, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Immigration director-general, the National Registration Department, and the Inspector-General of Police.

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