JOHOR BAHRU: The home ministry is disappointed with the attitude of controversial religious preacher Zamihan Mat Zin Al-Ghari who has continued to ignore the warnings and advice given by various parties over his statements.
Its deputy minister, Nur Jazlan Mohamed, said a recent statement by Zamihan was seen as disrespecting Prime Minister Najib Razak over the building of the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) in Putrajaya.
He said it should not have been made by someone regarded as an “asset” to the country.
“We are disappointed with him (Zamihan) as before this he had challenged the royal and religious institutions, and now the prime minister has become his target.
“We are not questioning his capability in carrying out his tasks with the home ministry. But as a government official, he should not get personal.
“Although Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has recognised his capability, I still want him to shut up and think before he issues a statement. If he just cannot accept government policies, he can quit.”
He spoke to reporters here today when asked to comment on a viralled video recording of Zamihan’s statement in which he regarded the prime minister’s action of allowing the establishment of KSCIP as not a clever move.
Nur Jazlan said Zamihan should be careful with what he said and he should also not sensationalise matters related to terrorism, and the turbulence and conflict in the Middle East as his statements reflected the image and integrity of the home ministry.
He said all of Zamihan’s statements made to the public were being monitored.
If he still gave problems to the ministry, his role in deradicalising those imprisoned for terrorism-related activities might be reconsidered.
On Zamihan questioning the building of KSCIP, he said it was against the government’s policy of forging close cooperation with the Saudi Arabian government.
He said the idea of establishing the centre was mooted by King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud and its construction cost would be fully funded by the Saudi Arabian government.
Zamihan is a Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) officer who was seconded to the home ministry and now placed at the Prisons Department as a deradicalisation officer for terrorism and extremists elements.
He is also the president of the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah Association (Aswaja) and principal assistant secretary of the home ministry’s Security and Public Order Division.
Zamihan had previously been remanded for two days to assist in the police investigation under the Sedition Act 1948 for allegedly criticising the Johor sultan over “for Muslims only laundrette” issue.