Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik's apology must not influence the government's decision regarding the status of his Malaysian permanent resident status, said DAP lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh.
"Zakir may have qualified his said apology by saying his words were taken out of context, but the fact remains that such words have caused unrest.
"Though welcomed, Zakir's apology does not detract from the fact he may have breached his PR conditions which should be the main consideration in deciding if the same ought to be revoked or not.
"In other words, Zakir's apology does not, in any way, repair the damage that has been done as a result of his words," he added in a statement this afternoon.
Following a marathon questioning session at Bukit Aman exceeding 10 hours, Zakir (photo), this morning, apologised for the hurt caused by his remarks.
The Indian-born preacher said he was not a racist and claimed that his remarks were "used selectively with fabrications added to them."
Meanwhile, Ramkarpal said foreigners who wish to stay in Malaysia must respect and understand the fact that this is a multiracial nation.
"Failing which, they should not be allowed to stay.
"Calling the Chinese guests and claiming the Indians are more loyal to the Indian prime minister compared to the Malaysian prime minister is certainly out of line, no matter the context.
"What reasonable people think is quite different and the authorities must recognise that his explanation and apology dos not excuse him from the wrong that he may have committed.
"In the circumstances, such an apology ought not to influence the mind of the authorities in deciding whether or not to revoke Zakir's PR," he added.
Ramkarpal urged the authorities to place the nation's wellbeing as its topmost priority when deciding on this matter.
Previously, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Zakir's PR status would depend on the outcome of the police's investigations.
The authorities have also barred the preacher from delivering speeches in all states.