Home minister: Citizen or not, action to be taken against those disrupting harmony, public order

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the police have called Chinese educationist group Dong Zong, tycoon Tan Sri Koon Yew Yin, and fugitive televangelist Dr Zakir Naik in for questioning over their recent remarks. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the police have called Chinese educationist group Dong Zong, tycoon Tan Sri Koon Yew Yin, and fugitive televangelist Dr Zakir Naik in for questioning over their recent remarks. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 — Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has warned Malaysians and non-citizens against disrupting harmony and public order in the country, amid heightened ethno-religious tensions here.

Speaking in a statement for the first time since several controversies erupted in the country, also warned the public against spreading fake news and slander that touches on sensitivities of the public.

“I would like to remind everyone, including those who are not Malaysia citizens, that enforcement agencies under my ministry will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone that threatens the harmony or public order of this country,” Muhyiddin said.

“All parties must stop making speculative remarks. Instead, they should wait for full reports from the authorities before commenting on certain issues. This is to avoid any slanderous statements or reckless accusation,” he added.

He said the police have called Chinese educationist group Dong Zong, tycoon Tan Sri Koon Yew Yin, and fugitive televangelist Dr Zakir Naik in for questioning over their recent remarks.

“This is due to several police reports being lodged against them. Investigations
are in progress,” he said, adding that several others have also been questioned and are under police observation.

“Further action will be taken, including charges under Section 504 of the Penal Code if there is sufficient evidence,” he said.

Section 504 covers insult with intent to provoke breach of peace and is punishable with up to two years’ jail, a fine, or both.

“I urge anyone with information regarding the statement or comments to report it to the authorities by sending a screen shot to the official social media account of the police,” he said. 

Dong Zong had recently opposed the introduction of the Malay-Arabic calligraphy khat lessons in vernacular schools, calling it a form of Islamisation. Putrajaya has since revised its decision, making the lessons of Jawi script instead, and requires consent from parents and teachers.

Meanwhile, Koon had recently criticised the armed forces, saying many personnel did nothing except “eating and sleeping”. He has since apologised over his remarks.

Controversial televangelist Dr Zakir recently came under fire for his alleged inflammatory remarks against ethnic Indian and Chinese in Malaysia, causing several Cabinet ministers to call for him to be deported.

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