KUALA LUMPUR, August 24 — Malaysians must move on instead of fixating over Dr Zakir Naik’s controversial remarks, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said today.
This comes barely a week after Syed Saddiq himself had called for the fugitive preacher to be deported over his inflammatory speeches.
“No one is free from making mistakes. Dr Zakir Naik has apologised. I myself have made mistakes many times and we must accept being reprimanded with an open heart. There’s no need to beat our chest and make things worse. Let’s move on. The country needs healing!”
“Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-religious country. Moderation over extremism. Our unity is our strength. Each race have made their own contributions. They are all Malaysia citizens like me. Unity in diversity. Stronger, together, forever,” said Syed Saddiq on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Photos of Syed Saddiq having dinner with Zakir Naik was posted on Twitter and Instagram.
Tidak ada seorang pun yang bebas dari melakukan kesilapan. Dr Zakir Naik sudah minta maaf. Saya sendiri banyak kali lakukan kesilapan dan kena berlapang dada bila ditegur.— Syed Saddiq (@SyedSaddiq) August 24, 2019
Tidak perlu nak mendabik dada & mengeruhkan keadaan lagi. Let’s move on. The country needs healing!
Previously, Malaysia’s youngest minister had joined the ranks of his Cabinet colleagues including Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh, Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran and Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister A. Xavier Jayakumar, demanding Dr Zakir’s deportation.
He told reporters via his ministry’s official WhatsApp group for the media that an attack on Chinese and Indians is an attack on all Malaysians.
“It’s ridiculous to even think that my fellow Malaysians are my tetamu. They are my family, for God’s sake. Enough is enough,” the Muar MP had said August 14, using the Malay reference for guest.
Dr Zakir had in a speech in Kelantan allegedly accused Malaysian Hindus of being more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi instead of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and allegedly said the Chinese “guests” should go back to China.
Syed Saddiq’s new stance was echoed by his PPBM party colleague Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen who made a call to stop putting pressure on Dr Mahathir to deport Dr Zakir to India.
He said all Pakatan Harapan (PH) component party leaders such as Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy should respect the prime minister’s decision on the matter.
“The mounting pressure against the prime minister and the government will only make the situation worse and cause racial and religious tension in this country.
“Everyone should leave this matter to the wisdom of the prime minister and the police to resolve this issue,” said Mohd Rafiq.