Wednesday, December 11

MTUC calls for Zakir’s expulsion

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MIRI: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak has joined the call for the immediate deportation of Dr Zakir Naik within seven days and for his PR status to be revoked immediately.

MTUC Sarawak made the call in its emergency resolution at the 7th Triennial Delegates Conference (TDC) which ended here yesterday.

The union secretary, Andrew Lo when presenting the resolution said MTUC fully stood by the statement made by Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran who criticised the preacher’s speech in Kelantan.

Solomon (left) addresses the TDC. Seated from right are Lo and Mohamad Ibrahim.

Kulasegaran among others said Zakir, who has been granted Malaysian permanent residence status, had no standing to comment on issues in his host country or cast aspersions on local communities.

Zakir had said Malaysians of Indian origin ‘support the prime minister of India but not the prime minister of Malaysia’ and ‘the Hindu Malaysians, most of them are supporting the prime minister of India’.

Following Kulasegaran’s statement, Zakir issued a statement demanding the minister apologise to him within 48 hours and also demanded ‘suitable compensation for the injury of his reputation’.

Speaking to reporters earlier, Lo said Zakir’s statement was unacceptable as the minister was merely defending the dignity of all Malaysians, while Zakir had stirred up religious hatred in the country.

MTUC also called on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to look after the interest of Malaysians first and listen to the majority of peace-loving Malaysians and not bow to the whims of extremists.

“MTUC wishes to remind him, he is the prime minister for Malaysians and not for PR residents of other countries.

“At the same time we want to tell our Tun Mahathir, you are our elected prime minister and we can remove you as well,” Lo said.

MTUC secretary-general J. Solomon when officiating at the TDC commended MTUC Sarawak for the bold move in demanding for the expulsion of Zakir.

“I am happy and proud that your union leaders take such stand because in Sarawak, I find unity and harmony is much better than in Peninsular Malaysia.”

A total of 75 delegates representing 27 affiliates attended the half-day TDC.

Among those present were MTUC assistant secretary-general (Education) K. Somsundram and MTUC Sarawak chairman Mohamad Ibrahim Hamid.