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Malaysian politicians call for Islamic preacher to be deported

He says Chinese Malaysians should 'go back' first

PETALING JAYA: Despite facing calls for deportation by multiple parties, defiant Islamic preacher Zakir Naik called on Chinese Malaysians to "go back" first as they were the "old guests" of the country.

"Later on, more people came and Malaysia became fully Muslim. Then you have the Chinese coming, the Indian coming, the British coming. They are our new guests.

"People call me a guest. So I said, before me, the Chinese were the guests. They aren't born here. If you want the new guest to go first, (then) ask the old guests to go back.

"The Chinese weren't born here, most of them. Maybe the new generation, yes."

Mr Zakir, an Indian citizen who is a Malaysian permanent resident, made those remarks when he was talking about how Islam had spread peacefully in the region through traders, in a speech in Kelantan last Thursday.

Mr Zakir's speech wascriticised by many parties after he compared Hindus in Malaysia to Muslims in India, saying the Hindus enjoyed more than 100 per cent rights in Malaysia compared with Muslims in India.

He alleged the Hindus in Malaysia were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Veteran politician Rais Yatim has called for Mr Zakir to be sent back to India.

"Before Zakir Naik lived here, we lived in harmony. Now even the Hindus are being disturbed by his comments that belittle them. Zakir is playing the role of an instigator. It is best if he is sent back to India," the former minister said on his Twitter account yesterday.

Mr Rais, who is also a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia member, said the country's bilateral relationship with India had also soured because of Mr Zakir, adding that there is more important work to be done.

Democratic Action Party ministers Gobind Singh Deo and M. Kulasegaran have told Dr Mahathir that Mr Zakir has to leave the country.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind and Human Resources Minister Kulasegaran said they explained their opposition to the presence of Mr Zakir in the country to Dr Mahathir at the Cabinet meeting yesterday.

"We have raised the issue with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet this morning, over Zakir's presence in Malaysia and the recent event held by him in Kota Baru over the weekend and other statements he has made which have caused controversy.

"We expressed our position that action must be taken and Zakir should no longer be allowed to remain in Malaysia."

Mr Zakir is wanted in India over corruption charges, but Malaysia has declined India's extradition requests, with certain parties alleging that the charges were trumped up.

In an earlier interview with Turkish international news channel TRT world, Dr Mahathir said that although Mr Zakir's extreme views was a threat to the country's racial and religious relations, it was difficult to remove him because no other country wanted him. - THE STAR

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