KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — Human rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has chided Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for hosting televangelist Dr Zakir Naik, merely days after asking for his deportation.
The prominent lawyer also called the first-term minister’s statement for Malaysians to “move on” after Dr Zakir’s so-called apology as a mere capitulation.
“This does not heal! Your first instincts were right. This is a capitulation by you so we don’t need the drivel about apologies et cetera.
“It’s insulting. You’re one of my favourite ministers and this is dissapointing,” Ambiga wrote on Twitter.
In her next tweet, Ambiga also urged Malaysians to remember "the good things" during National Day and Malaysia Day, citing the results of the 14th general election, and the election of women into positions of power.
"No one can take away our successes. Challenges are there but we also have much to celebrate," she said.
Syed Saddiq yesterday said that Malaysians must now move on instead of fixating over Dr Zakir Naik’s controversial remarks.
This comes barely a week after Syed Saddiq himself had called for the fugitive preacher to be deported over his alleged inflammatory speeches.
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!
Photos of Syed Saddiq having dinner with Dr Zakir was also posted on Twitter and Instagram.
Syed Saddiq’s posts were published even as the police have barred Dr Zakir from making any speech in Malaysia, even on social media, while the fugitive preacher is being investigated over his remarks.
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.
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 ethnic Chinese “guests” here, should go back, after calls for him to be deported.