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Zahid: Zakir Naik welcome here as he has broken no law

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says controversial Islamic preacher is not listed by the UN as a terrorist, and denies he has dual Indian-Malaysian citizenship.

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PETALING JAYA: Controversial preacher Zakir Naik has not been banned from entering the country as he has not broken any of Malaysia’s laws.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the immigration department would blacklist all individuals who were deemed a threat to the security and peace of the country, based on information from the relevant authorities.

“A person will only be blacklisted based on information from the relevant enforcement authorities, not based only on media reports,” he said in a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat today.

“Zakir Naik is not listed as a terrorist in the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1988 and 1267. Therefore, the immigration department will not restrict his access to the country as he has not broken Malaysia’s laws.”

He was replying to M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat), who asked the home minister to state why Zakir had not been blocked from entering the country.

Zakir caused a stir last year after he was alleged to have insulted Hindu deities and practices. He is also reported to have been banned from the UK and Canada, following his apparent support of terror groups.

He is under investigation in India for spreading communal hatred and glorifying terrorism. He is also reportedly being sought by India’s Enforcement Directorate over a money laundering case.

Media reports say the republic’s National Investigation Agency is investigating 78 bank accounts and investments amounting to Rs100 crore (RM65 million) linked to him.

The Hindustan Times said that he holds dual Indian-Malaysian citizenship, but the home ministry denied the claim.

Early last month, 19 people filed a suit against the government for allegedly harbouring Zakir, whom they said was capable of threatening national security and harmony.

The group claimed that Zakir’s presence in Malaysia was a serious threat to the country’s safety.

They also sought a court order that Zakir be considered a threat to Malaysia, and requested an order to stop him from coming to the country or from remaining here, if he was already in the country.

The suit named Zahid, the director-general of the immigration department, the director-general of the national registration department, the inspector-general of police and the Malaysian government.

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