KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — DAP Legal Bureau chairman Ramkarpal Singh today said that fugitive preacher Dr Zakir Naik’s apology over his alleged racial and religious remarks during a recent lecture in Kelantan does not detract from the fact that he has breached his permanent residence (PR) conditions.
“The apology by Dr Zakir Naik is an acknowledgement by him that his speeches, objectively taken, has stirred racial unrest in multiracial Malaysia.
“Dr Zakir may have qualified his said apology by saying that his words were taken out of context but the fact remains that such words have caused unrest,” Ramkarpal said in a statement.
He pointed out that as a foreigner, Dr Zakir should respect and understand the multicultural environments of Malaysia and should not be allowed to stay in the country if he fails to do so.
The Bukit Gelugor MP said authorities should not be influenced by the apology issued by Dr Zakir in revoking his PR status as they should act without fear or favour, and with the nation’s wellbeing as its priority.
“Calling the Chinese guests and claiming the Indians are more loyal to the Indian Prime Minister compared to the Malaysian PM is certainly out of line, no matter the context.
“Zakir may think that his speeches are innocent but that remains what he thinks. What reasonable people think is quite different and the authorities must recognise that his explanation and apology does not excuse him from the wrong that he may have committed,” said Ramkarpal.
Dr Zakir had earlier today apologised for causing any “misunderstanding” after being questioned twice by the police for his alleged racial and religious remarks during the lecture in Kelantan.
The India-born man wanted in his home country for allegedly funding terror activities also said racism is “evil” and denies he is racist as claimed, adding that he does not want anyone to harbour “ill feelings” towards him.
The authorities have barred Dr Zakir from delivering public talks in all states in Malaysia.
The preacher, who is facing calls of deportation from all around, was questioned by police in Bukit Aman for 10 hours yesterday.