KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 21: MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Chariman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker stated that the Home Ministry must account as to why controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik was given permanent resident (PR) status in Malaysia despite the controversy surrounding him.
“The Government, especially the Home Ministry must also account as to why Dr Zakir was granted PR status and special consideration seeing that he is known for creating tension.
“In particular, India’s National Investigation Agency court has issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against the doctor-turned-preacher for his alleged role in a terror case, while last week, another city court in India issued an NBW against Dr Zakir in a case of money laundering.
“Even in Muslim majority Bangladesh, its Education Ministry has ordered the closure of all of Dr Zakir’s Peace International Schools ‘for involvement in controversial activities’ and shutdown his Peace TV channel after two Dhaka assailants were said to have been inspired by him,” said Ti in a statement today.
The MCA Kuantan Division Chairman said that to allow a foreign preacher like Zakir Naik who has sparked religious controversy for his religious fundamentalist views that can cause uneasiness and discomfort among the multireligious and multiracial communities in Malaysia including the Muslim communities is disconcerting and needs to be addressed.
“The government must take note of this general sentiment of discomfort and uneasiness of a foreign televangelist like Dr Zakir who has no respect of our religious sensitivities in multiracial and multifaith Malaysia.
“Malaysia and the BN government always promote moderation, mutual understanding and respect.
“These ethos have been and remain the very foundation of our nation.
“We should not risk these cherished values with Dr Zakir, when especially of late, when there are elements of religious extremism and religious-based terrorism taking root in Malaysia of which Bukit Aman’s Special Branch is going all out to counter terrorist elements.
“Malaysia has to be mindful not to acknowledge, nor accord special privileges, nor seen to be giving special treatment to preachers to Dr Zakir who is known to have such tendencies, who promotes religious differences in a diverse society like ours,” said Ti.
More Deserving Malaysians
Ti addressed that there are so many residents in Malaysia, who have proven their loyalty, contributed to the nation’s well-being but are not given PR status.
“Even more agonising is the fate of stateless children of Malaysians who are born, bred and grew up in Malaysia.
“Who through no fault of theirs ie births not registered by parents who themselves are uneducated and living deep in the interiors, or of whom one non-Malaysian parent has deserted the family and cannot be traced, or in rare cases when applying for MyKads had their citizenship revoked and their birth certificates seized, are all thus left stranded as stateless children.
“These stateless children of at least one Malaysian parent are denied the privilege of being registered for schooling.
“In the name of humanity, their citizenship rights should be given or restored for the good of the nation,” said Ti.