KUALA LUMPUR: Police have recorded a statement from Klang MP Charles Santiago over remarks he made against controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
“I am being investigated for criminal defamation and intention to create unrest in the country. Two parties made reports against me, one was by Zakir Naik himself and the other by a group of about 300 people, ” he said when met outside Bukit Aman yesterday afternoon.
Police questioned Santiago for nearly two hours.
He said the investigation was over a media statement where he urged the Cabinet to discuss the controversial statements made by the preacher.
“We have allowed a foreigner to divide our unity, a unity that has been built over so many years. This was the issue that I raised.
“I’m being investigated because I’m fighting for unity in the country. This makes no sense. As a Member of Parliament, it is part of our duty to champion unity, ” he said.
Santiago’s lawyer John Fam said as an MP, Santiago had a “constitutional duty” to advice the Cabinet.
“If he had not done his duty, he would be seen as a failed elected representative, ” Fam said.
He also revealed Zakir’s legal team has not given any writ of summons to Santiago.
“Whatever Santiago said was the truth and fair comment. There is nothing defamatory in it. If they like to proceed with the matter, we are always ready to accept, ” he said.
Zakir had previously named Human Resources Minister M. Kula-segaran, Santiago, Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy and former ambassador Dennis J Ignatius, as having made defaming statements against him.
Zakir had called on the Malaysian Chinese to “go back” first as they were the “old guests” of the country during a religious talk in Kota Baru, Kelantan, while responding to calls for his deportation.
In his speech at the talk, he also compared the Hindus in Malaysia to Muslims in India, saying the Hindus here enjoyed more than 100% rights compared to Muslims in India.
He alleged the Hindus here were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Malaysia’s Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Many parties chastised him after the talk.
Zakir, an Indian citizen, has stirred controversy with his open evangelism criticising non-Muslims.
Did you find this article insightful?