Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has claimed that he is liked by the majority of non-Muslims in Malaysia.
In fact, he said that it is only a small number of Malaysians who were unhappy with his presence in the country.
“I know that most of the non-Muslim communities here (in Malaysia) like me.
“There is just a small group that kicks up a fuss in wanting me out of Malaysia. They are tied to a political agenda.
“They are those who are secular and (also) hypocritical Muslims […] they’d rather believe India’s police than Malaysia’s police,” he said.
Zakir said this when answering audience questions at a discussion held as part of the “Dr Zakir Naik Kelantan 2019” tour (below) in Kota Bahru today.
Also present during the event was Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Abdullah, state assemblypersons and senior Kelantan civil servants.
The Mumbai-born preacher, who was accorded a Malaysian permanent residence, explained that he constantly meets with non-Muslims and is treated well.
“I go to the clinic and the doctors would not take my money when I wish to pay. He says ‘How can I take money from Zakir Naik? He (the doctor) is a Hindu.
“The same goes for the Chinese that I meet. The majority of the Muslims and non-Muslims I meet everywhere are all nice and I will continue with my preaching,” he added.
Zakir today, however, refused to answer when questioned on an open letter published recently which called on him to voluntarily leave Malaysia.
He said: “I will not answer (the question). There are those who have answered on my behalf, let that answer be.”
This is believed to be in reference to an open letter penned by corporate figure Anas Zubedy who called on Zakir to leave the country as, among others, the preacher’s presence was driving non-Muslims away from Islam and that “comparative religious debates do not work in Malaysia”.
This letter was cited by DAP Iskander Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang in calling for Zakir’s departure.
This solicited responses from PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man who said Zakir need not leave as his presence in Malaysia was guaranteed by the government.
Meanwhile, Zakir was reported this morning as crediting his decision to reside in Malaysia to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I thank Modi because I am coming closer to true happiness. Because of him, I am in Malaysia which is better than India.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I have dreamed of staying in Malaysia,” the televangelist was quoted saying by The Malaysian Insight.
This followed reports that India had allegedly failed in its third attempt to convince Interpol to issue a red notice for Zakir.
Zakir is wanted in his home country to answer to charges related to money- laundering and terrorism.
Malaysia, too, has refused to deport the preacher with Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying they would not do so as long as the former did not break any local laws.
Zakir has consistently denied any wrongdoing. – Malaysiakini