The apology by Zakir Naik is an acknowledgement by him that his speeches, objectively taken, has stirred racial unrest in multiracial Malaysia.
Zakir may have qualified his said apology by saying that his words were taken out of context but the fact remains that such words have caused unrest.
Though welcomed, Zakir’s apology does not detract from the fact that he may have breached his Permanent Residence conditions which should be the main consideration in deciding if the same ought to be revoked or not. In other words, Zakir’s apology does not, in any way, repair the damage that has been done as a result of his words.
This country has always been a multicultural one. Foreigners who wish to stay here must respect and understand this, failing which, they should not be allowed to stay. Calling the Chinese guests and claiming the Indians are more loyal to the Indian Prime Minister compared to the Malaysian PM is certainly out of line, no matter the context.
Zakir may think that his speeches are innocent but that remains what he thinks. What reasonable people think is quite different and the authorities must recognise that his explanation and apology does not excuse him from the wrong that he may have committed.
In the circumstances, such an apology ought not influence the mind of the authorities in deciding whether or not to revoke Zakir’s PR who should act without fear or favour with the nation’s well-being as its priority.
Dated this 20th August, 2019.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LEGAL BUREAU
DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY