PETALING JAYA: As a Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam is in no position to question the Permanent Resident (PR) status given to controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik, said PAS.
PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan (pic) said Dr Zakir, who is also Islamic Research Foundation chairman, is a renowned scholar respected by Muslim clerics and the Muslim world as a whole.
"As a minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam should know better about the process of granting someone PR status.
"Basically, that person has to have a valid entry permit issued by the Immigration Department and possesses an international passport of their home country.
"Granting PR status is also not an individual's right, but more like a reward from the Malaysian Government to those foreigners who have professional qualifications or skills to allow them to provide services to the country without having to jeopardise the country's interests," he said in a statement Friday.
Nasrudin, who is also a Temerloh MP, added that granting PR status to a foreigner also involved other government departments, such as the Home Ministry, the Royal Malaysian Police, the National Registration Department and the Immigration.
"And Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam just made baseless allegations by linking Dr Zakir Naik to terrorism and accusing him of jeopardising religious harmony," he claimed.
Nasrudin then "advised" Dr Subramaniam, who is also MIC president, not to go overboard with his statements especially in regard to the interests of Muslims in the country.
"As a Health Minister, he is not in the position to interfere in this matter," he said.
Dr Subramaniam was reported to have said that Malaysia doesn't need Dr Zakir as the country's own Islamic scholars are far more adept and competent in advocating the faith to Malaysians.
The MIC president said that Malaysia's Islamic foundation or its multi-religious national texture is not going to be nourished by Dr Zakir's preaching.
On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed that Dr Zakir was given PR status about five years ago.