Kuala Lumpur, Aug 18: Two days after Malaysian government has said that Zakir Naik's Permanent Resident status may be revoked, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad on Sunday said that the controversial preacher was indulging in 'politics' and not mere religious preaching. "Religious teachers can preach but he was not doing that. He was talking about sending Chinese back to China and Indians back to India. That's politics," Dr Mahathir said in a press conference here launching the 62nd International Statistical Institute World Statistics Congress 2019, according to reports in Malaysian media.
Perlis police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Noor Mushar Mohd has said that action would be taken against radical preacher Naik if he defies the police order. Dr Mahathir said: "I have never said this kind of things. But he (Zakir Naik) tells the Chinese to go back. If you want to talk about religion, go ahead, then it is permissible. We do not want to stop him from that. But it is quite clear he wants to participate in racial politics in Malaysia". On August 16, Zakir Naik was summoned by authorities in Malaysia for his recent racially insensitive comments.
The controversial preacher is wanted in India on charge of money laundering. The 'tele-evangelist' is alleged to have influenced Bangladeshi youths in 2016. Zakir Naik was granted Malaysian Permanent Resident status in 2015. Malaysian authorities last year said they would not extradite Zakir to India despite receiving an extradition application from India to face money-laundering charges. On August 14, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar held a meeting with Malaysian Minister P Waytha Moorthy, Special envoy of PM Mohammad. UNI