Zakir Naik has been consistent in making headlines in the media throughout August.
The number of news on the Indian preacher had a sudden increase on August 13 and 14 after he gave a public lecture in Kelantan a few days earlier. Zakir caused an uproar in Malaysia after labelling the Chinese Malaysians as “old guests” in an attempt to rebuff calls for his extradition.
In his statement, Zakir said that if Malaysians want him to leave, then the country should also ask the Chinese to leave saying that most of them were not born here, further labelling them “old guests”.
His statement not only enraged social media, it also came to the attention of Malaysian ministers who voiced out support for Zakir’s extradition.
Minister of Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq dismissesed Zakir’s statement about Chinese being “guests” in the country.
In his defence, Syed said that he knows many Chinese and Indians who would do just about anything for the country that they love, adding that an attack to them is like attacking all Malaysians. Ultimately, Syed supported the idea of deporting the Indian preacher.
Additionally, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran and Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo released a joint statement calling for Zakir Naik to be extradited.
Kulasegaran insisted that Zakir had overstepped his limits while being allowed to stay in Malaysia. Therefore, the minister suggested that the Indian preacher be sent back to his home country to face corruption charges.
Regardless, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stood firm on his stance that Zakir Naik would be “killed” if he were to be deported back to India. However, he is open to the idea of sending the Indian preacher to other countries.