Social media platforms off-limits to Naik too, says top cop

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador.

KUALA LUMPUR: Top cop Abdul Hamid Bador says controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik is not allowed to give talks through any medium including social media.

The ban is applicable throughout the country until investigations involving the preacher are settled, he added.

“A directive has been issued by the police whereby Naik is prohibited from making any further speeches after the episode in Kelantan.

“This is to give us time to complete investigations relating to reports lodged on that episode.

“With this directive, all state police chiefs are responsible for advising any parties with plans to invite Naik to give public lectures not to do so,’ he told Bernama.

Hamid said Naik’s lecture in Kelantan had caused uneasiness and confusion among many quarters and that the police needed time to investigate the matter.

“We will get the facts on what actually transpired.”

He assured that the instructions are intended to calm the situation and are only temporary.

“That seems fair. It is only temporary and if the situation doesn’t change, the instructions will remain.

“It is clear that we do not want these religious talk forums to be linked to political issues. It is not appropriate for religious talks to include political issues either at home or abroad,” he said.

He said the police hoped there would be no objections until a final decision is reached.

“With regard to this case, I do not want to point fingers because actions were taken by both sides… by Naik and also by those dissatisfied with the content of his discourse.”

Naik faces a police investigation under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, after 115 reports were received against him.

He has been called up twice to Bukit Aman to have his statement recorded, the first time for five hours last Friday and the second time for 10 hours on Monday.

The preacher from India, who is a permanent resident in Malaysia, is alleged to have made controversial remarks against Malaysian Hindus and Chinese during a talk in Kota Bharu on Aug 3, prompting calls for him to be deported to India.

Naik has been wanted by Indian authorities since 2016 for alleged money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches.

Asked if the Indian authorities had sought Naik’s extradition, Hamid said there had been no such application and that Malaysian police had yet to find out the facts about the offences the preacher had allegedly committed.