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Malaysia may revoke Zakir Naik's permanent resident status: Report

The Malaysian government may soon revoke the permanent resident status of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik if it is proved that his actions have harmed the country’s well-being. 

Malaysia may revoke Zakir Naik's permanent resident status: Report

Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian government may soon revoke the permanent resident status of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik if it is proved that his actions have harmed the country’s well-being. 

The Malaysian media quoted Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as saying that Naik's PR status can be revoked if the authorities provide enough evidence to prove that his actions can disturb social harmony in the country.

This comes days after the Malaysian authorities initiated a probe against the controversial Islamic preacher over his intent to provoke a peace breach while making alleged and sensitive remarks on the Hindus and Chinese residing in the Muslim-majority nation.

"We have opened an investigation paper based on a report made in Gombak. Around 115 reports have been lodged on the matter so far," Federal CID director Huzir Mohamed was quoted as saying by The Strait Times during a press conference last Thursday (August 15) at the Selangor Police headquarters here.

Zakir had reportedly asked the Malaysian Chinese to "go back" first as they were the "old guests" of the country during a religious talk titled "Executive Talk Bersam Dr Zakir Naik" in Kota Baru, Kelantan, in response to calls for his own deportation.

His speech at the same venue was also condemned by many parties after he compared the Hindus in Malaysia to the Muslims in India, saying that the Hindus here enjoyed more than 100 per cent rights in Malaysia compared to Muslims in India.

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In the wake of Naik`s remarks, the Malaysian Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad decided to issue statements that Naik will no longer be allowed to stay in Malaysia.

In a joint statement, Malaysia's Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo and Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said that ''action must be taken and that Zakir Naik should no longer be allowed to remain in Malaysia".

"The Prime Minister has taken note of our concerns. We leave it to him to consider the position and to decide soonest possible what will be done to deal with the problem," the joint statement said.

Naik had earlier alleged that the Hindus living in Malaysia are more loyal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi than Mahathir Mohamad.

Naik was granted permanent residency in Malaysia by the previous government and he has been living in the country for the last three years.

He is wanted in India and has been accused of making provocatives speeches, inciting communal disharmony and committing unlawful activities. 

The controversial Islamic preacher is also facing probe both in India and Bangladesh in connection with the terror attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka on July 2016.

The two suspects in the terror attack had claimed that they were inspired by Naik`s radical preaching.

New Delhi had made a formal request to the Malaysian government to extradite Naik to India.

However, Malaysian PM had said that his country has the right not to extradite Naik, who has alleged that he won't be given a fair trial in India.

(With Agency inputs)