PUTRAJAYA, Jan 12 — The government will not stop any religious preachers from holding talks as long as they comply with the set guidelines and do not touch on issues that may cause religious tensions and affect national security.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa said those who wished to organise talks should file applications with the religious authorities in the state to ensure the invited speaker did not possess any record of causing problems in term of religion, race and security.
Asked whether the government would stop controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik from delivering lectures in the country, Mujahid said Dr Zakir would not be barred from speaking as long as his presence did not cause any problems, besides the organisers observing the laws of the country.
On the Indian government’s claims that Dr Zakir’s speeches were more towards spreading hatred, Mujahid said that as far as his ministry was concerned, there were no issues relating to the speaker.
“So far there is no official ban, only that Dr Zakir should refer to the procedures of the state where he intends to speak and decision to allow or disallow the application comes under the jurisdiction of the state,” he told reporters after disbursing a special allocation of RM110,000 in aid to 13 NGOs from Selangor here yesterday. — Bernama