PETALING JAYA: Kedah has banned controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik from speaking publicly in the state, after Perlis issued a similar order this week.
Kedah Religious Affairs Committee chairman Ismail Salleh said while Naik, who was questioned by police on Friday over alleged provocative remarks, was welcomed to enter the state, he could not get involved in any public events, Sinar Harian reported.
Ismail said harmony was a priority for the state.
“Don’t add fuel to the fire. We will not put the unity we have at risk,” the Malay daily quoted him as saying.
Ismail said that Naik had attended a programme organised by Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in April but organisers restricted his talk to just student motivation.
He said the organisers had even referred the matter to the Kedah mufti and state government.
“But if there are those who want to organise a function (featuring Naik), we will stand by our decision to bar him,” Ismail said.
On Friday, it was reported that Perlis police chief Noor Mushar Mohd had warned Naik, who has been battling allegations of disrupting racial harmony through a series of comments in Kelantan, against giving any speech in the state.
Mushar said as police chief, he would not allow Naik to attend the programmes planned for him in the state as he has been raising issues that can threaten “the general peace of Malaysians”.
Calls for action to be taken against Naik have grown following a recent series of lectures he gave in Kota Bharu, one of which allegedly touched on the loyalty of Malaysian Hindus to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Naik was reported to have said that Malaysian Hindus 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 Chinese in Malaysia were considered “guests” in the country.
Naik, who has been summoned by the police over his speeches, has claimed that he is the target of a vilification campaign.