Zakir Naik’s PR status can be revoked — Dr Mahathir

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SEPANG (Aug 16): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that the Permanent Resident (PR) status of Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik could be revoked if his actions are proven to cause harm to the country’s well-being.

However, he said the Government will wait for the police investigation against the fugitive preacher’s alleged sensitive remarks against Malaysian minorities, the Chinese and Indians.

“He (Zakir) has PR status. We can take away the PR status if he does something that is detrimental to the well-being of the nation.

“At this moment the police are investigating if he is doing that or not. If he is doing it, then it is necessary for us to take away his PR status,” Dr Mahathir told reporters after visiting AirAsia’s headquarters RedQ here.

Dr Mahathir said there is a need to take action to prevent Zakir from making provocative speeches, which tend to pit different races against each other.

Asked whether he will demand a public apology from Zakir, Dr Mahathir said: “At this moment, leave it to the police to investigate on the seriousness of the statements that he had made.”

Asked on the Sabah Government’s dissatisfaction on lack of engagement on several issues including khat calligraphy, Dr Mahathir said the Sabah Government did not say anything to the Federal Government.

Dr Mahathir said it was not healthy to think Sabah for Sabahans, Sarawak for Sarawakians and ‘Peninsular’ for ‘Peninsularians’.

“That is not healthy. We hope that we should only think of ourselves as parts of Malaysia and not as individual territories,” he added.