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Consider Zakir’s rights in making decision, Tok Mat tells gov’t

21 Aug 2019 / 10:55 H.

PETALING JAYA: Any decision to deport Dr Zakir Naik must be considered carefully to avoid injustice to the Islamic preacher, according to Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

He said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad now faces the tough task of making a decision pertaining to the controversial preacher.

“Not deporting him will be seen as accepting his offensive remarks that disrespect the other races in the country. However, if we deport him, his life and rights could be threatened. So we must act rationally.

“However much we disagree with Zakir’s opinions, justice will only prevail if we get an assurance that his basic human rights will be respected should he be deported.

“And if we are certain that these rights will be compromised, then Malaysia is responsible to act wisely based on the international best practises,” he posted on Facebook late Tuesday evening.

Mohamad said it was pertinent for Mahathir to balance national interest, the interest of the multiracial community in Malaysia and Zakir’s rights before making a decision on the preacher’s fate.

There have been growing calls for Zakir to be deported from the country following his lectures earlier this month in Kelantan, which purportedly undermined non-Muslim community, with over 100 police reports lodged against him.

Commenting on the preacher’s remarks, Mohamad said if it was found that his statements had elements of sedition and could threaten the harmony of the community, then he has to be responsible and must face the music.

He reminded that no one individual, regardless if he was a prominent preacher or even a statesman, has the right to undermine the status, position and nationality of a specific race in Malaysia.

“To Zakir, you have been treated with respect in this country, and you are popular preacher. Hence, it is your responsibility to act in a wise manner and portray Islam as the best religion to all.

“If you are not capable of doing this, then you can’t blame the Malaysian government for acting against you,” he added.

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