Don’t link Zakir Naik to Sosma arrests, says deputy minister

Last month, police arrested 12 people on suspicion of links to the now-defunct LTTE.

KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman has rejected a DAP politician’s claim that criticism of controversial preacher Zakir Naik had led to the arrest of two DAP state assemblymen for alleged links to a now-defunct militant group.

Azis said it was not true that the arrests were linked to the Islamic preacher, an Indian national with permanent resident status in Malaysia.

“Please, stop making such assumptions,” he said here in response to recent remarks by Klang MP Charles Santiago.

Santiago had refused to apologise to Zakir Naik after Zakir accused Santiago of having linked him to the arrests of two DAP men on their suspected links to the now-defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Santiago had claimed that the arrests under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 or Sosma was a way to punish those who spoke against Naik.

Naik had threatened legal action against Santiago for defamation, claiming that Santiago’s statements depicted the preacher as having “back-door dealings” with the authorities and of being the “mastermind” of the arrests.