KUALA LUMPUR: Zakir Naik has been told to respect Malaysia's right to safe and peaceful racial relations.
The Mumbai-born preacher has also been told by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad that Malaysia has thrived socially and economically for the past six decades thanks to the mutual respect accorded to everyone regardless of their race or religion.
"This is the formula that we, Malaysia, have adopted to ensure continuous peace and prosperity are maintained and enjoyed by all.
"The unity among the citizens was what kept the country together through thick and thin and it is most unwise for us to tear that apart now, " he said.
Khalid added that Malaysia is only able to have Zakir as its guest because of the country's harmonious and safe political climate.
"We understand that his safety may be threatened if he were to be deported back to his country of origin.
"Out of respect for his safety, he was allowed residency in our country. It is our hope that he too, can respect our rights for safe and peaceful racial relations.
"If tensions boiled over and chaos erupted over controversial issues, then we may not be able to provide him a safe haven anymore, " he said.
Zakir, who is wanted in India over corruption charges found himself at the centre of a fiery controversy following his remark that the Chinese in Malaysia are "guests".
He alleged that the Hindus here were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Malaysia's Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Several ministers have called for him to be deported back to India and Saudi Arabia, where he was granted citizenship in 2017, while Sarawak has banned him from entering the state.
Dr Mahathir has since admitted that Malaysia is in a Catch-22 as Zakir was "an unwelcome guest Malaysia can't send away".
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