KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik is not on record as having applied for Malaysian citizenship.
Muhyiddin said so in a written parliamentary reply to Labis MP Pang Hong Liong.
"There are no records in the National Registration Department’s system that showed the individual as having applied for citizenship."
Liong asked why Dr Zakir's application for permanent residency was issued so swiftly and whether his application for citizenship would be processed in view of some 12,000 long-term applicants whose cases have yet to be settled.
Muhyiddin did not address Liong’s question on whether Dr Zakir's PR application had been expedited.
"The said individual's MyPR card was issued by the National Registration Department (NRD) in accordance with Subsection 5(3)(b) of the Regulations National Registration 1990,” he said.
"To obtain MyPR, the applicant is required to have a valid passport and have a valid entry permit issued by the Immigration Department.
"The NRD issued a MyPR to Zakir Abdul Karim Naik on April 21, 2016.”
On August 20, authorities barred Dr Zakir from delivering public talks in all states in Malaysia.
Police said this was done in the interest of national security.
Malay Mail previously received a tip-off on the existence of a circular detailing the order, to all police contingents nationwide, Royal Malaysia Police Head of Corporate Communications Datuk Asmawati Ahmad confirmed the order.
Dr Zakir is currently facing police investigation under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace after 115 public complaints were filed against him for a speech he gave in Kota Baru on August 11.
In that speech, he said Indians in Malaysia were more supportive of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than Malaysian leader Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He also allegedly described Malaysia’s Chinese as “guests” in the country and said they should be sent back to China before he could be deported.
Dr Zakir is wanted in his native India on money-laundering charges.