KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 — PKR’s view concerning provocative preacher Dr Zakir Naik will only be made public after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim returns from performing his Haj in Mecca.
Party secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail indicated that PKR is waiting for its president to come back before holding a meeting on the India-born Dr Zakir whose remarks during his public lectures have divided Malaysians.
“Let him perform his pilgrimage in peace,” he was reported by Malaysiakini as telling reporters after a Lazada X programme here today.
“We will wait for him to come back and preside over a meeting, and then we will come out with our official stand,” added Saifuddin, who is also domestic trade and consumer affairs minister.
Mumbai-born Dr Zakir, who is wanted in India on charges of money laundering and terror-related incitement, is a Malaysian permanent resident who is seen to have divided the country along religious lines.
Most recently, he was reported claiming during a lecture in Kota Baru hosted by the PAS-led Kelantan government on August 8 that some Indian Malaysians were more loyal to the Modi government of India than the Mahathir administration of Malaysia and suggesting Chinese Malaysians were “old guests” who should return to their ancestral country.
Dr Zakir later claimed his remarks about Indian Malaysians were taken out of context. He has yet to issue a statement about his reported remarks about Chinese Malaysians.
Several ministers, notably from DAP, have asked for the Islamic preacher to be deported for racial instigation.
However, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has indicated that Malaysia will not send him back to his birth country where he faces the risk of being killed, despite India’s repatriation request.
Federal police are investigating Dr Zakir under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.