PAS Kuala Terengganu lawmaker Ahmad Amzad Hashim (photo, above) has objected to Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran’s use of ministry letterhead when sending out a “personal” political statement against preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
As such, he called on the DAP MP to withdraw the statement, entitled “Zakir Naik’s Presence in Malaysia is embarrassing to all Malaysians”, which the latter sent out to the media yesterday.
In it, Kulasegaran had called for action to be taken against the Indian-born Islamic preacher over the latter’s recent comment seemingly questioning the loyalty of Hindu Malaysians to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Ipoh Barat MP had said Zakir’s actions “do not reflect one deserving of permanent resident status” and the matter would be brought up in the next cabinet meeting, which is today.
“It is clear that this is a personal statement as it was not issued in his (Kulasegaran’s) capacity or responsibility as human resources minister. Therefore, it was not appropriate...to be issued using the ministry's letterhead.
“If indeed Zakir’s statement could instigate instability, let the people make police reports so that the statement (by Zakir) can be properly investigated. Kulasegaran should not be using his position as minister to issue political statements to win Indian votes.,” Ahmad Amzad said in a statement.
He added that the minister was only “embarrassing himself and weakening the government’s image” by issuing a statement contradicting Mahathir’s stance on the matter and before the cabinet had a chance to meet.
This is as Mahathir had on numerous occasion insisted that Zakir, a Malaysian permanent resident, would not be extradited back to India as long as the latter did not break any local laws.
Recently, the premier said Zakir risked being killed in his native country.
Zakir was granted a permanent residence by the then-BN government in 2012. He is currently wanted back in his home country to answer to charges related to money laundering and terrorism. He had consistently denied any wrongdoing.
He has, however, courted controversy over his style of preaching in which he compares Islam to other religions, including Hinduism. Some accuse him of spreading hate speech, another claim he has denied.
In his statement, Ahmad Amzad further called on Kulasegaran, and other DAP ministers, to resign from cabinet.
“If Kula and DAP ministers have pride, please resign instead of constantly opposing cabinet which they assume always make decisions contradicting the DAP principles and values, which are not suitable to be practised in Malaysia,” he said.
During a recent sermon in an event organised by the PAS-led Kelantan government, the controversial preacher had claimed that Hindus in Malaysia had “100 times more rights than Muslims in India” despite both communities being minorities in their respective countries.
“So much so they support the prime minister of India and not the prime minister of Malaysia," he had said.
In a statement today, Zakir claimed his words had been taken out of context, and he was merely referring to the latter’s trust in the Indian government in regards to criminal charges against him.