Rais questions why Zakir Naik has PR

Modified 4 Sep 2019, 5:33 am

Negeri Sembilan Bersatu chief Rais Yatim (above, left) has questioned why Indian-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik (above, right) has permanent resident (PR) status in Malaysia.

"We put the law behind us in terms of someone with PR coming in, without it being explained to the people what is the benefit gained (from doing so) that our muftis can't give.

"Is it just because he converted to Islam certain people, or is there knowledge that Malaysians don't have? I want to know too, but to this day it's like a 'buffalo moo-ing in a field'. I have not received something concrete," Rais was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian yesterday.

"How did he get PR status? Was it based on investments he brought in?" he asked.

Rais was speaking at a forum organised by Sinar Harian on racial unity in Malaysia.

Zakir had stirred controversy after making remarks that were deemed insensitive to Chinese and Indian Malaysians at a talk in Kelantan last month.

He suggested that Hindu Malaysians were more supportive of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and also referred to Chinese Malaysians as "old guests".

He has since apologised but claims his remarks were taken out of context. 

Rais reiterated his previous call that Zakir should be deported to ease controversies in the country.

"Zakir is not well accepted in Indonesia, and he has a case in India. Saudi Arabia also rejected him, but we accepted him.

"I think it is best to ease the situation. If Zakir went back, that would be good," he said.

Rais was citing an unverified report that the Saudi Arabian government had rejected asylum for Zakir.

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