Why let a foreign fugitive divide us? Rafidah asks Malaysians

Rafidah warned of a looming recession and said the country should be preparing for this instead. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Rafidah warned of a looming recession and said the country should be preparing for this instead. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 — Former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz urged Malaysians not to allow themselves to be pitted against one another on account of India-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

She warned of a looming recession and said the country should be preparing for this instead.

“I only want to ask — why are Malaysians going against each other on the account of some foreigner who is being sought after by his own country?” she was quoted as saying in a report by Malaysiakini.

She was commenting on several ministers’ call for the prime minister to deport the preacher to India where he is wanted for money laundering and hate speech.

“Why are some of us still so vulnerable to have our minds being subverted in so many ways seemingly in the name of religion?

“We must not allow extraneous, irrelevant matters cloud our minds and divert our attention from the real issues at hand,” she said further in the report.

Dr Zakir triggered fresh controversy in Malaysia when he accused the local Indian community of being more loyal to Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He also called the local Chinese community “guests” in the country and said they should be sent back to China before he is extradited to India.

Dr Zakir is wanted in India for money laundering and issuing hate speech.