GEORGE TOWN: The Penang City Council (MBPP) has rejected an application by the Islamic Propagation Society International (IPSI) of Penang to book the City Stadium for a public talk by Dr Zakir Naik, citing a football tournament and maintenance as among the reasons.
However, the Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JAIPP) said the proposed ceramah was not allowed because the controversial preacher did not have the required permit from the religious authorities.
According to a statement from MBPP’s corporate communications and public relations division, the application could not be considered as the venue had already been booked by the Penang Football Association (FAP) for its Premier League matches between February and July.
“Apart from FAP, the City Stadium has also been booked by schools, associations and sports clubs for other sports activities,” the statement said yetserday.
Meanwhile, JAIPP director Zulkifli Long said a person must apply for a permit from the religious authorities before being allowed to conduct a ceramah.
Dr Zakir, 53, has previously been condemned by various groups over his sermons for allegedly being extremist and disrespectful to other religions.