KUALA LUMPUR It is up to University Utara Malaysia (UUM) to explain why controversial preacher Zakir Naik has been invited to speak at the university, says Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.
According to the Kulai MP, this was because it was part of the university’s autonomy.
“I think it’s for the university to answer. It’s part of their autonomy,” she told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby on Thursday (April 11).
Pressed for the Education Ministry’s stance on the matter, Teo merely said, “Let the university answer that first lah”.
Teo had earlier said that the government was looking to abolish the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) as part of Pakatan Harapan’s plan to return autonomy to public varsities.
Last September, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said that a combative style of propagating Islam, which put down other beliefs and as practised by Zakir, was not suitable for multicultural Malaysia.
Zakir, who is wanted in his home country of India for alleged money-laundering and terrorism, has been living in Malaysia where he has permanent residency.
According to a poster circulated on social media, he is scheduled to speak at the UUM’s Mufadzam Shah hall on April 18.
The open event, titled “Duty for a Muslim as a Professional”, will take place between 8.30pm to 11.30pm.