PETALING JAYA: Veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin today said Pakatan Harapan should stop quarrelling over Dr Zakir Naik as there are more important things to attend to than the controversial preacher.
The prime minister’s special adviser on media and communications said PH had nothing to do with Naik, who recently stirred controversy with remarks about Malaysian Hindus and Chinese, as it was the previous administration that accorded him permanent resident status.
Kadir opined that the Muslim community was not just divided politically, but also by religious dogma, which had been brought in by local preachers who studied in failed states or foreign ones from failed Muslim states.
He said there was no need to waste time on trivial matters and pay attention to “irrational views” and wayward ideologies.
“The way some people are defending Zakir Naik makes it seem as if he is more important that the Felda and Felcra settlers, padi farmers, fishermen and those who live in low-cost flats,” he said in a blog post, adding the excessive debate of minor issues was making Malaysians more radical and racist.
Kadir said he was baffled as to why there was this fixation to import the likes of Naik and wondered if it was a reflection of the Islamic education system.
He went on to suggest that the authorities, including the police and Immigration Department, review policies concerning foreign preachers, including priests and monks, entering the country.
He said the authorities should monitor them more closely.
“And if they contravene entry requirements, such as disrupting public order, action should be taken, including deporting them,” he said.
Naik recently touched on the loyalty of Malaysian Hindus to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, claiming that they were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Mahathir, despite receiving “100 times” more rights than Muslims in India.
He was also quoted as saying that the Chinese in Malaysia were considered “guests” in the country.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who is also PPBM Youth chief, broke ranks with Mahathir on the calls to deport Naik.
Police have since summoned Naik to record his statement after over 100 police reports were lodged against him.
On a separate matter, Kadir also suggested for the “Tan Sri” title of a tycoon from Perak to be revoked after he made disparaging remarks about the armed forces.
Koon Yew Yin had said Malaysia’s armed forces personnel “are doing nothing except eating and sleeping” and proposed that they be recruited as labourers in plantations.
The businessman has since apologised for the remarks.
Kadir said it was dangerous for a “Tan Sri” to deny the contributions of the armed forces.
“He has been criticised and has apologised. But I think it is only reasonable for his title to be revoked as it is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who had accorded such titles and he is also the supreme commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces.”