PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are wasting too much time fighting over petty issues like Zakir Naik, when they should be resolving problems faced by the less fortunate, says Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.
"Once again, I appeal: Enough of us wasting time on trivial matters and entertaining skewed idealism and irrational thinking.
"I apologise if I say the manner in which some people are defending Zakir Naik seems as though he is more important than the millions of Felda settlers, Felcra small holders, padi farmers, fishermen and low-cost home dwellers, " he said in his blog, The Scribe, on Friday (Aug 16) titled "Stupid Work Fighting Because of Zakir Naik".
Kadir, who is the Prime Minister's media adviser, also said that what was happening with the Zakir issue was not the norm for Malaysians.
"We know in India the Hindus murdering the Muslims, and the Muslims murdering the Hindus is something normal. Religious incitement is considered a part of the democratic practice.
"We, in Malaysia, are different. We respect the religion and beliefs of others, " he said.
He said that there was also no reason for Pakatan Harapan to get embroiled in internal bickering over the Zakir issue when it was a legacy left behind by the former Barisan Nasional government.
Kadir also questioned the obsession with importing foreign preachers like Zakir, as it put the nation's Islamic education system and abilities of local Muslim scholars in question.
He suggested that the Home Ministry, Immigration Department and police review its policy of allowing foreign preachers into the country, be it Muslim preachers or those from other religions.
He said it would only be fair if the policy was also applied to other religions besides Islam as they too relied on imported preachers.
"Action must be taken, including deportation, against those who flout the entry conditions, especially those who threaten public order, " he added.
Kadir said he was glad with the statement by Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Thursday (Aug 15) that stern action would be taken against those who caused racial tension in the country.
On other matters, Kadir said that it was pointless for Malaysians to debate the Jawi calligraphy or khat issue.
He said what should be more worrying to Malaysians was the standard of education and the weakness among students in mastering Bahasa Malaysia and English compared to talk on whether khat should be introduced in schools.
He also said that it would appropriate for the Tan Sri titled bestowed on business tycoon Tan Sri Koon Yew Yin to be revoked despite the latter apologising for insulting the nation's armed forces.