Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik accused critics of manipulating his comments on the local Indian community last week to portray him as questioning their loyalty to Malaysia.
The India-born preacher claimed his remarks from an event in Kelantan last Saturday were maliciously taken out of context in order to get him expelled from Malaysia.
Reportedly, Zakir asserted that he was speaking purely about the local Indian community’s call for the government to extradite him to India.
“What I said was in the context of my own case, that some Hindu groups opted to support the Modi government in its extradition request despite there being no evidence against me, and despite the fact that Interpol, the Indian court and Malaysian government have rejected the false accusations directed at me,” he was quoted as saying.
He insisted that recordings of his remarks differed from detractors’ portrayal of his comments.
Zakir countered allegations against him of inciting racial and religious tensions here by claiming it was his critics who were doing so.
Reports presenting him as saying the local Indian community were more loyal to Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has triggered fresh demands for Putrajaya to deport him.
Among others, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran had called for action to be taken against Zakir for questioning the loyalty of the Malaysian Indian community who have made great sacrifices and contribution to the country.
Kulasegaran insisted Zakir has overstepped his limits and should be sent back to India to face “charges of terrorism and money laundering charges”.
Others such as retired servicemen’s group Patriot also told the preacher to stop meddling in local affairs and inflaming tensions.
Yesterday, the prime minister reiterated that Malaysia could not send the preacher back to India as the latter could “be killed”.
Malaysiakini has reviewed two live videos of Zakir’s remarks from the talk on YouTube and Facebook.
The YouTube video ends before the preacher finishes his remarks about Hindu Malaysians, while the Facebook video has time jumps, possibly due to connection problems when it was being recorded. Facebook Live videos cannot be edited.
His remarks in full, are as follows:
“In India, we Muslims are the minority – according to the government, 14.5 per cent.
Muslims says we are about 20-25 per cent but we agree with 14.5 per cent also.
Here, the non-Muslims, the Hindus are 6.3 to 6.4 per cent.
The Hindus in Malaysia get more than 100 times the rights than the Muslims in India.
Good. Alhamdulillah, I’m not saying take away their rights. Good, this is what Muslims should do.
They are half the percentage, in terms of numbers much less, half the (population) percentage of Muslims in India.
Yet, the rights they get here is 100 times more than what India gives to minorities.
So much so that they support the prime minister of India, but not the prime minister of Malaysia.
The prime minister of India wants me. The prime minister of Malaysia doesn’t want injustice to be done to me.
The Hindu Malaysians, most of them are supporting the prime minister of India.
There is no evidence. Interpol says no evidence.
They are believing more in India, they are more Indians than the Malaysians themselves and yet they are enjoying (sic), Alhamdulillah.”