Zakir Naik is toast. And it’s hard to see how he can still be protected after what he has – stupidly – done. Has anybody noticed that until today, the two top guns of UMNO – Najib Razak and Zahid Hamidi – have yet to defend the controversial Indian Islamic preacher accused of spreading hate speech, laundering money, and funding terrorism by the Indian government?
Mr. Zahid, as the president of UMNO Malay nationalist party, should have screamed until foaming at the mouth defending the preacher who has attracted truckloads of conservative Malay Muslims. Likewise, Mr. Najib, the former president of UMNO, hadn’t spoken a word of praise for the Mumbai-born preacher, the man his administration had granted permanent resident (PR) in 2015.
Worse, Zahid has thrown the poor Zakir under the bus as if he was some kind of pariah. Heck, the former deputy prime minister has even denied that it was him as Home Minister who had granted PR status to the hate preacher in 2015. Instead, Zahid blamed Muhyiddin Yassin, who was then former deputy prime minister, despite the fact that PR matters are under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry.
Why neither Zahid nor Najib defends Zakir Naik, who, despite being only a PR was given VVIP treatment and body guard protections fit for a King? As much as Zahid and Najib wanted to milk the fiasco using race and religion cards, they can’t. Both UMNO leaders knew it’s a matter of time before a dangerous preacher like Zakir is kicked out of the country after he is of no use to Mahathir.
Yes, Zakir the foolish preacher was nothing but a tool for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. While Najib and Zahid watch with popcorn and Coke, Hadi Awang, the idiot president of the PAS Islamist party, do all the dirty jobs of defending the radical preacher. Mr. Hadi would look like a bloody fool if he could not raise an army of 1-million supporters to defend Zakir from being deported, would he not?
After Zahid’s remarks, the next piece of clue that Indian Muslim preacher Zakir will be booted is the spectacular U-turn from Mahathir. The premier finally announced on Sunday (August 18) that the preacher, whom he had protected numerous times in the past, has crossed the red line when he touched on racial politics and stirred racial tension in the country.
Mahathir said – “In the first place, I don’t know who gave him PR status, but as a PR, you cannot participate in politics. Religious teachers can preach, but he was not doing that. He was talking about sending Chinese back to China and Indians back to India. That’s politics. I have never said this kind of things. But he tells the Chinese to go back.”
“It is quite clear he wants to participate in racial politics in Malaysia. Now, he is stirring up racial feelings. That is bad. People here are trying their best not to say those things. Even I would not dare say those things. Whatever action we take will be in accordance with the law. This government respects the rule of law,” – said the 94-year-old prime minister.
You don’t need a rocket scientist to decipher Mahathir’s hidden message. Prior to Zakir’s outburst – accusing Hindus in Malaysia of being more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Dr Mahathir and telling “old guests” Malaysian Chinese to go back to China first before he (“new guests”) can be asked to leave – Mahathir had protected him with dozens of silly excuses.
Now, Mahathir suddenly recovers from his senility and spoke like a great leader? Not only his message to the police was that Zakir Naik had engaged in high stake racial politics, hence he must face the law, but Mahathir has also passed the buck to the previous government led by Najib and Zahid – questioning how on earth did the preacher get his PR in the first place.
There’s a reason why Najib or Zahid didn’t rush to claim credits, as they usually would under normal circumstance, when Mahathir repeatedly defended Zakir initially. The despicable preacher was just a pawn in a political manoeuvre. Think about it. As Zakir’s popularity rises beyond that of Mahathir – or even the King – in the eyes of Muslims in the country, it’s a matter of time before he seizes power.
Religion is one of the biggest scam in the market. Just because Zakir looks innocent, pious in religious costume, talks fluently about afterlife and appears like an expert in comparing religions does not make him any different from a power-hungry terrorist. He does not need to raise swords, but merely incite his gullible followers to terrorise people from other religions.
Of course, he hasn’t reached the stage like the one where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi converted the Jihad movement into the Islamic State caliphate, with tens of thousands of fighters recruited from more than 80 countries (while he went into hiding enjoying himself). But Zakir is on the right footing to achieve that if he’s allowed to continue mocking and insulting the Hindus and Chinese.
His words have already poisoned some of his followers. A 28-year-old man who works as a storekeeper and a security guard was detained by authorities after he threatened to “behead” lawyer Syahredzan Johan for suggesting that preacher Zakir Naik’s permanent resident status be rescinded. The ISIS terrorist group was notorious for beheading hostages in their Jihad adventure.
To borrow Mahathir’s favourite naughty phrase, only the “blind, deaf and dumb” could not see the danger of keeping a time-bomb like Zakir in the country. Najib Razak, Zahid Hamidi, Rais Yatim, Rafidah Aziz and Hishammuddin Hussein saw it. As an old fox, Mahathir saw it too, but the cunning premier had chosen to act dumb and gave the preacher enough rope to hang himself.
Inspired and encouraged by Mahathir’s defence for him, Mr. Zakir has mistaken the gesture as a blessing or approval to go a step further in his rampage against non-Muslims in the country – belittling, mocking and insulting not only the local Hindus but also Malaysian Chinese and even poked the dragon China’s mistreatment of Uighurs in the Xinjiang region.
As we had written previously, Mahathir was using Khat Jawi and Zakir Naik to promote himself as the greatest champion of Malays and Islam. Playing the emotions of the ethnics Chinese, Indians and even Malays, the old man wanted to weaken his allies DAP and PKR in the Pakatan Harapan coalition government because his own party (PPBM or Bersatu) is very weak.
Without adequate uproars and criticisms against Zakir Naik, the prime minister might let the preacher continue with his extremism and radicalization. Mahathir’s fishing trip is now over after 115 police reports filed against the India-born preacher. And the prime minister has caught quite a bucket of fish in his little expedition using a foolish bait called Zakir Naik.
DAP, a Chinese-majority party, has already suffered tremendously as a result from the silly Khat Jawi stunt. In the eyes of the Malays, DAP, who commanded 95% of the Chinese vote bank, is anti Muslim for its refusal to learn the Arabic calligraphy. In the eyes of the Chinese, DAP top leaders are a bunch of traitors who failed to stop the Jawi from being pushed down the throats of vernacular schools.
If Zakir Naik is deported today, the Malays will not blame Mahathir squarely, but the Chinese DAP – again. In the same breath, the oppositions UMNO and PAS are also milking Zakir Naik to dry. All the Malay political parties are using DAP as the punching bag in their attempt to swing the Malay voters to their respective camps. DAP will definitely lose tons of seats in the next general election.
Comically, the deportation of Zakir Naik could make the Hindus cheer for Mahathir, despite the fact it was the same prime minister who had refused to kick out the hate preacher upon forming the government in May 2018. The premier can conveniently say that he could not deport the preacher because the controversial figure had done no wrong – until today.
So far, doors are closing fast with 7 states – Melaka, Johor, Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Sarawak – have decided to ban the radical preacher from speaking in public. It certainly will look very stupid on Mahathir’s side if he makes another stunning U-turn and allows Zakir to continue staying in the country. The preacher has overplayed his hand and has no use to Mahathir anymore.
Source : Finance Twitter