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Hadi's support for Zakir Naik undermines national unity

Charles Santiago

Published

MP SPEAKS | Sometimes I think I have heard it all from Abdul Hadi Awang. But the PAS president goes to the extreme in a desperate attempt to back controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

In relentless ugliness, Hadi is now training his guns on Malaysiakini and DAP, alleging we started the polemic surrounding Zakir through our call to deport him.

If this isn’t enough, Hadi said we would be seen as weak and stupid if the government deports Zakir, who is a fugitive wanted in India for money laundering and spreading hate through his speeches.

If there is anything weak about the discourse surrounding Zakir, it’s Hadi’s pop against the online news website and my political party, which at best can be construed as ignorant.

The calls for Zakir’s deportation grew loud following his recent speech in Kelantan, where he took a whack at Chinese and Hindu Malaysians.

It’s rather ironic that Hadi conveniently skips the part where Zakir’s speech was inflammatory, insulting and has the potential to disrupt racial unity in this country.

Isn’t Hadi concerned about racial unity in Malaysia? Doesn’t he understand that questioning the loyalty of Hindus and branding the Chinese as guests will strain the relationship amongst and between Malaysians?

Zakir has been banned from speaking anywhere in the country and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has also observed that he has crossed the line.

So yes, it’s a good thing that political leaders spoke up. And it’s equally important that the rakyat lodged police reports against Zakir.

Hadi must understand that this is the way in which things are done in new Malaysia.

He must acknowledge that this is no more about political patronage, or the play of religion on politics to hold on to the reins of power.

It’s about time Hadi accepts the fact that Malaysians will stand up for their country as concerned citizens, especially when a foreigner consciously tries to create a rift amongst us.

And he has to concede to people’s power even if it means that his ego would be dented in the process.


CHARLES SANTIAGO is Klang MP.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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