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Hindraf threatens legal action over Zakir Naik’s status in Malaysia

 | February 2, 2017

It has given the home ministry seven days to state whether the Islamic preacher, who it said is wanted in India for investigations, has permanent resident status, or face legal action.

pwaytha-zakirnaikPETALING JAYA: A human rights group has threatened legal action against Putrajaya if it refuses to disclose whether Islamic Research Foundation president Zakir Naik has obtained permanent resident status in Malaysia.

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairman P Waythamoorthy is also demanding that the government disclose whether it is aware that Zakir is wanted in India for alleged terrorism-linked and money laundering activities.

In a letter yesterday to Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Hindraf chief, through his lawyer, said he was expecting a reply within seven days, failing which a law suit would be filed.

“We will institute legal proceedings in the interest of national security against you in the capacity of home minister,” the letter said.

Waytha is also seeking an explanation over the rationale for harbouring Zakir and allowing him to deliver lectures and sermons in Malaysia despite the Indian national’s status as an alleged threat to security.

He is also seeking an explanation on any police action against Zakir following a report made in April last year.

Waytha claims he has information that Zakir had been granted permanent resident status under the sponsorship of a prominent individual with a honorific “Dato” title.

On Sunday, FMT reported that the controversial preacher would make an appearance in Perlis on Feb 10 at the request of state mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin to deliver a Friday sermon at the state mosque in Arau.

Several other muftis in Malaysia have expressed admiration for Zakir, a recipient of the 2013 Tokoh Maal Hijrah in Malaysia.

Last year, Zakir made headlines after the Hindustan Times reported that he allegedly held dual Indian-Malaysian citizenship. The Malaysian home ministry, however, denied the claim.

Zakir is under investigation in India for spreading communal hatred and glorifying terrorism.

Zakir, 51, was also reported to be sought by India’s Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The republic’s National Investigation Agency was also investigating 78 bank accounts and investments amounting to Rs100 crore (RM65 million) linked to him, NDTV had reported.

Zakir had caused a stir last year after he was alleged to have insulted Hindu deities and practices.

He is also reported to have been banned from the United Kingdom and Canada, following his apparent support of terror group al-Qaeda.


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