COMMENT | In 2016, in response to the move to ban a lecture by controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik, I said that he should be allowed to continue with the lecture. I said at that time “Let Zakir Naik speak. Let him exercise his human rights to free speech, even if some of us find his views highly objectionable.”
At that time, the issue was not whether he should be deported back to India. The issue was solely whether he should be allowed to continue with his lecture. At the time, it had not been revealed that Dr Zakir Naik was accorded Permanent Residence (PR) status by the previous Government.
Three years later, when Zakir Naik questioned the loyalty of Malaysians of Indian ethnicity, and referred to Malaysians of Chinese ethnicity as ‘guests’ who should ‘leave’ before him, I join the chorus of criticism against the preacher.