Controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik has permanent resident (PR) status in Malaysia, confirmed Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today.
It was given to him about five years ago and the DPM said Zakir was not given Malaysian citizenship.
Zahid reckoned that the controversial Muslim preacher had also been staying in other countries, not just in Malaysia.
In November 2016, the Home Ministry denied Indian media reports that the televangelist had been granted Malaysian citizenship as a “package deal” when he was given the ‘Tokoh Maal Hijrah’ award here in 2013.
Ahmad Zahid said that while there was no basis for Malaysian authorities to initiate an investigation into Zakir, they would render assistance to Indian authorities if both countries have a mutual legal assistance agreement.
On April 15, the Hindustan Times reported that the Indian enforcement directorate had filed a charge sheet against Aamir Gazdar, a confidante of Zakir, and Zakir’s company Harmony Media Ltd, for allegedly laundering money on his behalf.
The 1,000-page charge sheet lists Islamic Research Foundation president Zakir as an accused in the case.
The Times of India has also reported that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will seek an Interpol “red corner notice” against Zakir to curb his movements outside Saudi Arabia if he fails to turn up for questioning.
A red corner notice is an international arrest warrant circulated by Interpol on behalf of a government.
This came after the televangelist defied repeated summonses.
On March 1, 19 Malaysians initiated legal proceedings against the government and four others to get a court order to declare preacher Zakir as a threat to national security.
The plaintiffs are lawyers, human rights activists, businessmen and also former deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy, the national chairman of Hindraf.
Others include activist Lim Teck Ghee, Sabah Star (Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku) president Jeffrey Kitingan and lawyer Siti Zabedah Kassim.
They are applying to the Kuala Lumpur High Court to declare Zakir was a threat to public order, morals, the economy, social harmony, national education, national unity and to the peace of multiracial Malaysia.
In their court papers filed at Kuala Lumpur High Court, the plaintiffs have sought a court order to immediately revoke the status of Zakir as a permanent resident if it has been granted to him.