Lawyer insists no black-and-white gag order on Dr Zakir Naik, merely ‘advice’ from cops

Dr Zakir Naik arrives at Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 22, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Dr Zakir Naik arrives at Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 22, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — The lawyer for controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik has insisted there is no binding order for his client which prevents him from speaking publicly in Malaysia. 

Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader said that for the moment, no instructions in writing have been issued to that effect, despite the police confirming a directive given to police contingents nationwide barring the fugitive televangelist from speaking to public audiences.

“It is not an order, nothing was given to him in writing,” he told the press at Bukit Aman police headquarters, where he had accompanied his client earlier this afternoon. 

Akberdin said that the televangelist was merely advised by the police to refrain from public speaking, which he will willingly obey until police investigations into the matter have concluded. 

Akberdin’s insistence appears to be contrary to the move by the police to ban Dr Zakir from publicly speaking, as police head of corporate communications Datuk Asmawati Ahmad confirmed to Malay Mail earlier today that the gag is in line with Section 3(3) of the Police Act 1967.

Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador had stressed that Dr Zakir has been temporarily banned from speaking on all platforms including in social media, citing national security reasons.

The preacher’s presence at Bukit Aman today was to provide a statement to the police on the report lodged by Dr Zakir against five prominent individuals last Friday, as the lawyer said there was insufficient time to do so during the second interview on Monday. 

The five are Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran, Klang MP Charles Santiago, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy, former ambassador Datuk Dennis Ignatius and Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy.

Akberdin said the second reason for Dr Zakir’s third visit to Bukit Aman was to file a new police report, this time specifically against Ramasamy. 

“Today’s report is for the police to take action against Ramasamy, over an interview he gave to Indian news outlet IndiaToday yesterday.

“In the interview, Ramasamy used the words trickster, fraudster, venomous and hate-monger, among others, against my client, which we take strong objection to,” he said. 

Akberdin added that they will soon produce a letter of demand to Ramasamy over the utterances he made. 

“Dr Zakir will return to Bukit Aman again on Monday at around 2.30pm to provide a statement on today’s report against Ramasamy,” he said, adding this is presently subject to confirmation.

Dr Zakir faced several hours of questioning for the first time last Friday, and on Monday was questioned for nearly 10 hours before leaving Bukit Aman in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

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