Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was correct to state that Zakir Naik can remain in Malaysia provided that he does not do anything wrong or cause unrest, Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said.
The DAP lawmaker, who was a staunch critic of the controversial Muslim preacher in the past, said the issue was discussed during Wednesday's cabinet meeting.
“The issue was raised in the last cabinet meeting by (Communications and Multimedia Minister) Gobind Singh Deo, (Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources) Dr Xavier Jayakumar and myself.
“We, unlike the previous BN government, raised the matter in cabinet, we discussed it and concluded that we will ask the attorney-general if there is any formal request from India,” he added.
Kulasegaran said once the Indian government made the necessary deportation order, Putrajaya would follow the rule of law.
“The bottom line was that the Indian government must make that request.
“This is the right way of doing things, it is not right for the government nor one man to decide this matter, it should be decided by law in the courts as they have the duty to dispense justice,” he added.
Kulasegaran said when he travels to India, he would raise this matter with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, if he gets the opportunity to meet with Modi.
Prior to Pakatan Harapan forming the federal government, the DAP lawmaker had censured the BN government for according the Indian-born preacher with Malaysian permanent residence status and demanded his deportation.
“He has spoken so much of hate speech in this country and elsewhere. He compares one religion to the other, he criticises another religion. He hurts the feelings of others.
“Malaysia is a multiracial country... and he should respect this. He should not be allowed to stay here... many people were influenced by him to be involved in terrorist activities.
“He should be deported to India to face charges for money laundering and hate speech,” Kulasegaran had said.
Last week, Indian media reported that the republic's Ministry of External Affairs had made an official request to Putrajaya for Zakir to be deported.