UPDATE 1-Indian Islamic preacher apologises to Malaysians for racial remarks

  • In US
  • 2019-08-20 07:51:12Z
  • By Reuters

(Adds police comment)

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik apologised on Tuesday for making racially sensitive remarks in Malaysia, after police banned him from speaking in public and questioned him for hours over the comments.

Naik, who faces charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, has come under fire for comments that pitted Malaysia's ethnic and religious minorities against the predominantly Muslim Malay majority.

Malaysian police grilled Naik for 10 hours on Monday about a speech this month in which he said Hindus in Malaysia had "100 times more rights" than the Muslim minority in India, and that Malaysian Chinese were guests of the country.

Race and religion are sensitive issues in Malaysia, where Muslims make up about 60 percent of its 32 million people. The rest are mostly ethnic Chinese and Indians, most of whom are Hindus.

Naik, who has lived in Malaysia for about three years, apologised for his remarks but insisted that he was not a racist. He said his detractors had taken his comments out of context and added "strange fabrications to them".

"It was never my intention to upset any individual or community," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

"It is against the basic tenets of Islam, and I would like to convey my heartfelt apologies for this misunderstanding," Naik said.

Naik has permanent residency in Malaysia, and several ministers called for his expulsion after his controversial remarks.

Police have also banned Naik from speaking in public since Aug. 15, due to concerns over national security and racial harmony, spokeswoman Asmawati Ahmad told Reuters.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Sunday Naik was free to preach about Islam but should not speak about Malaysia's racial politics, state media said. (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff Editing by Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez)


More Related News

Telenor's Right to Reconnect in Malaysia

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- This time, it might just work.Telenor ASA and Kuala Lumpur-based Axiata Group Bhd. are back at the negotiating table. Joining forces in South and Southeast Asia still makes sense for both carriers. Options including a mooted minority investment from Norway's $27 billion telecoms heavyweight could be enough to get them started, with sales and spinoffs to follow.Talks for a potential deal resumed just four months after the parties scrapped discussions to create a combined entity with some 300 million customers in the region, Elffie Chew and Manuel Baigorri of Bloomberg News reported last week, citing people familiar with the matter. This time they may start small,...

Malaysia's 5G Plan Follows China's Path for Cheap Airwaves

(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia is offering airwaves for 5G networks at little cost to carriers to reduce the investment needed for the speedier wireless service, a model followed by China in its rollout of the technology last year.The government will forgo revenue from spectrum auctions and instead will allocate airwaves to a consortium of carriers via a tender starting after April, Al-Ishsal Ishak, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman, said in an interview. Commercial 5G services may be available in the country by the third quarter this year, according to a January presentation by the commission.The cheap airwaves policy frees up funds for companies including Maxis Bhd....

Exclusive: Malaysia to buy more sugar from India to help resolve palm oil spat - sources
Exclusive: Malaysia to buy more sugar from India to help resolve palm oil spat - sources

Malaysia's top sugar refiner said it will increase purchases of the commodity from India, which according to two sources is part of efforts to placate New Delhi amid an ongoing spat over palm oil. MSM Malaysia Holdings Berhad will buy 130,000 tonnes of raw sugar from India in the first quarter, the company told Reuters. India, the world's largest edible oil buyer, this month halted Malaysian palm oil imports in a move seen as retaliation to Malaysian prime minister's comments criticising New Delhi over its policy on Kashmir.

Bargain Hunters Eye Malaysian Assets After a Terrible 2019
Bargain Hunters Eye Malaysian Assets After a Terrible 2019

(Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need.Investors are going bargain hunting in Malaysia as they expect government policy changes to start bearing fruit.Global funds from Aviva Investors to BNP Paribas SA are picking out cheap deals in the country after its benchmark stock index had the worst year since 2008. Sentiment appears to be on the mend as inflows into Malaysian equities swell to $121 million so far in January, the biggest monthly purchase in a year.Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has sought to rein in debt, restructure state-linked firms and spur economic growth since returning to power two years ago. That has led to...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US