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Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof (3rd from left) at the launch of the Defence Ministry-level outreach programme in Labuan today. -- Pix: BERNAMA

LABUAN: A minister has advised Malaysians, regardless of political ideology and religion, to avoid dragging remarks of any religious preacher to the point of racial tension.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof said the government is consistently making efforts to safeguard the harmony in the country.

“I urge all Malaysians not to drag further the issue of Dr Zakir Naik or any foreign preacher into racial tension as this may involve diplomatic relations and security,” he said after the Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin town hall session and the launch of the Defence Ministry-level outreach programme at Dewan Darul Kifayah here on Monday.

Zakir is under police investigation for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace for having made allegedly controversial remarks against Malaysian Hindus and Chinese in Kelantan on Aug 3, prompting calls for him to be deported to India.

The preacher from India, who is a permanent resident in Malaysia, was wanted by Indian authorities since 2016 for alleged money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches.

Mujahid said he had met Zakir before and had explained to him the sensitivity of racial issues here and the importance of harmony in this country.

“I met him before, six months ago, and reminded him of the need to be sensitive on racial issues as Malaysia is a multiracial and multi-religious country… we have actually made proactive steps,” he said.

Answering a question on Zakir from the floor, Mujahid reminded religious preachers, especially those from abroad, to have respect and uphold the multiracial society of Malaysia to avoid conflict. -- Bernama

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