Council clarifies why it rejected Zakir Naik ceramah

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has rejected the application by the Islamic Propagation Society International (IPSI) for controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik (pic) to speak at a public ceramah at Penang City Stadium.

It said the application by IPSI for the ceramah on June 14 was rejected because of maintenance work and that the stadium was booked by the Football Association of Penang (FAP) for Premier League matches from February to July.

The MBPP also said that the stadium was booked by schools, associations, and clubs for sports activities.

It said that the stadium maintenance work was scheduled before the application by IPSI.

It also said it had to do routine maintenance of the field and the stadium to ensure that the venue is always in good condition.

It was reported that the Penang Islamic Department rejected Dr Zakir's public ceramah because he does not have a permit from religious authorities to speak on Islamic subjects.

Various groups have previously condemned Dr Zakir’s sermons, which they labelled as extremist and disrespectful to other religions.