Sunday, August 18, 2019

Zakir Naik should be charged and tried in Malaysia, not deported, if Malaysian laws were broken - No 'gag orders' or HR restrictions without court orders?

Below a media statement relating Zakir Naik that raises fundamental human rights issues for all in Malaysia. When it comes to human rights, all have to be treated the same - so if we call for the police/government to act in a particular manner - THEN it risks similar treatment of ALL of us in the future.

Zakir Naik is a controversial figure and many concerns have been raised - But have you really looked at the FACTs carefully, or are you relying on mere news reports or allowing our prejudices impact our rationale thought or allowing our 'so-called leaders' influence our thinking...  READ ON...

Media Statement – 17/8/2019

Zakir Naik should be charged and tried in Malaysia, not deported, if Malaysian laws were broken

Police restriction of Human Rights, including Freedom of Expression is Wrong

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is appalled by the calls of many in Malaysian including Pakatan Harapan-led government’s Ministers Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Gobind Singh, M Kulasegaran and Xavier Jayakumar that Indian national, Zakir Naik, be deported. (Star, 14/8/2019). If Zakir Naik had committed an offence in Malaysia, then they should be asking that he be charged and accorded a fair trial.

If someone has committed a crime, it is unconscionable, especially for Members of Parliament or Ministers, to simply ask that he be send out of the country beyond the jurisdiction of the Malaysian courts. They should be pushing for Zakir Naik to be charged and tried him in a Malaysia. This could be done very fast given the facts and circumstances of this case.

Human Rights is for everyone – Police cannot decide on which rights and how exercisable

MADPET is appalled that the police has prevented Zakir Naik from speaking.  "Zakir can come to Perlis, but he can't talk and action will be taken against him if he does so," SAC Noor Mushar[Perlis police chief] said..’(Star, 16/8/2019). “As Perlis police chief, I do not allow Zakir Naik to attend the programmes today as he has been raising issues that can threaten the general peace of Malaysians,” he told a press conference.( FMT, 16/8/2019). This is against one’s freedom of expression and opinion, and it is wrong for the police to arbitrarily do this. Are we a police state, where the police chief has so much power?

He also said Naik should inform state police in the future what he plans to speak on. “The way he talks, not everyone likes it. People of other races are unhappy. If he wants to talk, ask him to inform us first what he wants to talk, let us vet it.”(FMT, 16/8/2019).

It is certainly wrong, and discriminatory. Will the police be requiring every other speaker at any public events to tell the police in advance, what he/she will say – and then the police will ‘decide’ what you can say and what you cannot say? This is a violation of our Human Rights.

What law is the police relying on? Is it that draconian Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 that allows the police to impose ‘restrictions’ and ‘conditions’ on the exercise of our right to peaceful assembly? The Peaceful Assembly Act, a law that police can arbitrarily impose whatever restrictions and conditions, ought to be repealed. A violation of any such police restrictions and/or conditions now becomes a crime.

We recall during the Barisan Nasional reign, there was, I believe, at least one DAP organized event where the police imposed a condition that there be no political speeches. The same also did happen in other peaceful assemblies.

Well, such draconian laws must be repealed, one should always be free to exercise one’s freedom of expression and opinion, and also the right to peaceful assembly. If however later, there is a breach of law in the exercising such rights and freedoms, then the said person/s could be investigated, charged and/or tried for the said crimes.

We may not agree or even be angered by someone’s opinion or speech, but that is what the right to freedom of expression is all about. It is not only the right to say things that we agree, but also to say things that may annoy us. It is a human right, and it must be respected.

It is sad that 2 Ministers, Gobind Singh Deo and M Kulasegaran were also reported asking that restrictions be placed on the Zakir Naik that he not be able to speak at public forums, or say anything that will jeopardize race relations and public order in Malaysia. (Berita Harian, 14/8/2019)

One must never forget the legal principle that one is innocent until one is proven guilty in a court of law after a fair trial. Even if this relates to the infamous Zakir Naik, there is no justification for the police to impose a ‘gag order’ or restrict any of his human rights.

Are the 2 Ministers asking for Detention Without Trial laws, like the Prevention of Crimes Act 1959 (POCA), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) and the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985, whereby these laws allow for administrative detention and restrictions to be imposed? Under such laws, it is only the administration, not the judiciary that imposes such restrictions and/or detentions, and the victim cannot even challenge the reasons for detention/restrictions in court vide a judicial review.

Sadly, the new ‘alternative’ government has not yet abolished Detention without Trial laws in Malaysia. MADPET calls for all Detention Without Trial laws to be abolished. The right to a fair trial must be respected in all cases.

If there is desire to gag Zakir Naik, or to restrict his freedom to talk about certain matters, then rightfully an application to court should be made, where the said Zakir Naik rightfully will be given a right to be heard, before the court decides on the matter.

Refugees and/or Asylum Seekers should not send back

It is unclear whether Zakir Naik is a refugee or an asylum seeker in Malaysia, as Malaysia sadly to date, we still do not have a law on Refugees and Asylum Seekers. As such, legally we cannot say who is a refugee or asylum seeker in Malaysia according to our laws – and it is wrong for the government of the day to simply decide according to their whims and fancies. One wonders whether the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Malaysia has even considered and/or classified Zakir Naik as an asylum seeker or refugee.

If Zakir Naik is a refugee or asylum seeker, then Malaysia must not violate the principle of non-refoulement by deporting or repatriating him back to India or any other country where there is a risk that he may later be send to India.

All we know is that Malaysia’s previous Barisan Nasional had in 2015 granted the said Zakir Naik a Permanent Residency (PR) status. This means that any of his children born thereafter will be Malaysian citizens. It is odd, when so many foreign spouses of Malaysians, even after 10 years, still do not have PR status when they should justly be accorded PR status on registration of marriages, whereby such PR status could be reviewed when and if marriages dissolves.

For a refugee and/or asylum seeker, a PR status in the first instance should not have been granted rather a temporary visa or a ‘refugee’ visa that allows him/her to remain in Malaysia. If after some years, maybe there could be a consideration whether to accord him/her PR status, or even Malaysian citizenship. This again stresses the importance of a Refugee and Asylum Seeker law in Malaysia.

This new government, as such, could review and even cancel his PR status, and in its place grant him a long social visit visa, which could be for a year or even longer, with the possibility of renewal. If Malaysia had a Refugee and Asylum Seeker law, then surely there would, in that law, be provision for special visas for them to stay, or even work in Malaysia.

Zakir is wanted in India on charges of laundering more than 1.93 billion rupees (RM115.66 million) from proceeds of criminal activities in India and overseas.(The Sun Daily, 14/7/2019), and as such, one wonders whether he is a refugee or an asylum seeker. Many Malaysians involved in the 1MDB, SRC and other scandals are wanted by Malaysia for the purpose of investigation and possible prosecution, would they too be considered refugees and asylum seekers by other countries, who will refuse to send them back to Malaysia to face justice?

Malaysia certainly do not want to end up being seen as a safe haven for suspected criminals.

Police Investigations Have Commenced

It is to be noted that the Malaysian police has stated that the ‘India-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik is under investigation for provocation stemming from his remarks about Malaysia’s minority communities during an event in Kelantan last week. Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Commissioner Datuk Huzir Mohamed confirmed the probe under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.’ (Malay Mail, 15/8/2019)

Given the nature of this case, this is a matter that could be speedily investigated, and there is no reason, if an offence is believed to be committed, to see the said Zakir Naik being charged in court by next week.

Ministers, MPs and politicians

Ministers, MPs and politicians must always uphold the rule of law and uphold the cause of justice without fear or favour. They should be guided by values and principles, and should not simply take positions to appease the populace for fear of losing popular support amongst certain classes of people.

Therefore, MADPET

-          Calls for Zakir Naik to be investigated, charged and tried in Malaysia if he has broken Malaysian laws before any attempt is made to send him out of Malaysia to ensure justice is done;

-          Calls for the removal of police powers to restrict, gag or vet anyone’s right to freedom of expression and/or opinion, and freedom of assembly;

-          Calls on Malaysia to immediately enact a law on Refugees and Asylum Seekers;

-          Reiterates the call for Malaysia to repeal the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and all such laws, which allows the police or government authorities to curtail and/or impede our human right to freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and freedom of peaceful assembly;

-           Respect the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, repeal Detention Without Trial laws, and ensure that all in Malaysia have the right to a fair trial; and

-          Call on Malaysian Members of Parliaments, Ministers, politicians and government to always act based on principles, values and human rights, and not succumb to taking ‘anti-justice’ positions by reason of fear of losing popular support amongst certain classes of Malaysians.

Charles Hector
For and on behalf of MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)

No deportation, charge Zakir in court of law(Malaysiakini)

'Yes, deport Zakir Naik', says Syed Saddiq

Wednesday, 14 Aug 2019 9:48 PM MYT


PETALING JAYA: Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has joined his fellow ministers in calling for the deportation of controversial preacher Zakir Naik.

The Youth and Sports Minister said "yes" when asked if he supported ministers Gobind Singh, M Kulasegaran and Xavier Jayakumar's call to deport Zakir for his racially and religiously charged comments.

"An attack against our Chinese and Indian brothers and sisters is an attack against all Malaysians.

"It is ridiculous to even think that my fellow Malaysians are my guests.

"They are my family for god's sake. Enough is enough, " he told reporters in a media WhatsApp group on Wednesday (Aug 14).

Last week, Zakir called on the Malaysian Chinese to "go back" first as they were the "old guests" of the country during a religious talk called "Executive Talk bersama Dr Zakir Naik" in Kota Baru, Kelantan.

Zakir was responding to calls for his own deportation.

In the same venue, Zakir's speech was also chastised by many parties after he compared the Hindus in Malaysia to the Muslims in India, saying that the Hindus here enjoyed more than 100% rights in Malaysia compared to Muslims in India.

He alleged that the Hindus here were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Malaysia's Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Zakir, who is an Indian citizen, has stirred controversy in Malaysia with his open evangelism criticising non-Muslims.

He is wanted in India over corruption charges but he was not deported, with certain parties saying that the charges were trumped-up.

Dr Mahathir has since admitted that Malaysia was in a catch-22 situation as Zakir was "an unwelcome guest Malaysia can't send away". - The Star, 14/8/2019

GOBIND Singh Deo dan M Kulasegaran.

2 menteri mahu larangan dikenakan terhadap Zakir Naik

PUTRAJAYA: Dua menteri Kabinet hari ini mahu penceramah bebas, Dr Zakir Naik, tidak lagi dibenarkan mengadakan ceramah dan mengeluarkan sebarang kenyataan yang boleh menggugat hubungan kaum serta ketenteraman awam di negara ini.

Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia, Gobind Singh Deo dan Menteri Sumber Manusia, M Kulasegaran, dalam satu kenyataan bersama, berkata isu menyelubungi penceramah Dr Zakir yang menimbulkan kontroversi termasuk ceramah di Kota Bharu, Kelantan dibincangkan dalam mesyuarat Kabinet hari ini.

“Kami menyatakan pendirian bahawa tindakan perlu diambil, yang mana Dr Zakir tidak boleh dibenarkan untuk terus berada di Malaysia.

“Perdana Menteri mengambil maklum kebimbangan kami ini. Kami serahkan kepada beliau untuk mempertimbangkan kedudukan dan membuat keputusan dengan segera apa yang akan dilakukan untuk menangani masalah ini,” katanya.

Gesaan yang dimuat naik di laman Facebook menteri berkenaan turut menyatakan kebimbangan berkenaan ucapan Dr Zakir yang kontroversi.

“Justeru, kami membantah sebarang ceramah atau acara membabitkan Dr Zakir diadakan di negara ini atau pengeluaran sebarang kenyataan yang boleh memberi kesan kepada hubungan kaum dan ketenteraman awam,” katanya.

Semalam, ketika ditanya gesaan Kulasegaran yang mahu Zakir diusir serta merta kerana mengeluarkan kenyataan menghina penganut agama Hindu di negara ini, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad berkata Malaysia tidak boleh berbuat demikian kerana wujud ancaman bunuh terhadap penceramah itu.

Namun, katanya, jika ada mana-mana negara yang mahu menerima penceramah berasal dari India itu, mereka dialu-alukan berbuat demikian.-  - Berita Harian, 14/8/2019

Police confirm investigating Zakir Naik for incitement

Dr Zakir Naik allegedly claimed the local Indian community were more supportive of Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Dr Zakir Naik allegedly claimed the local Indian community were more supportive of Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
SHAH ALAM, Aug 15 — India-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik is under investigation for provocation stemming from his remarks about Malaysia’s minority communities during an event in Kelantan last week.

Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Commissioner Datuk Huzir Mohamed confirmed the probe under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.

“Investigation papers were opened following a number of police reports we received.

“As of today, we received a total of 115 police reports nationwide,” he said during a press conference at the Selangor Contingent police headquarters here today.

However, Huzir declined to elaborate on the progress of the investigation.

The Malaysian permanent resident allegedly claimed the local Indian community were more supportive of Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

According to a Malaysiakini report yesterday, Dr Zakir also allegedly described Malaysian Chinese as “guests” in the country and should be sent back to China before he is deported.

Yesterday, federal ministers from DAP and PKR said they urged the prime minister to send Dr Zakir back to India where he is wanted for money laundering and hate speech.

In May, the televangelist demanded written guarantees from India that he would not be detained prior to any conviction in order for him to stand trial there.

Dr Zakir has been evading Indian authorities since 2016, when files were opened against him for allegedly making hate speeches and laundering money after five militants launched an attack on a bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh that ended with 29 dead. - Malay Mail, 15/8/2019

Home minister explains why Zakir Naik, wanted by India, free in Malaysia

Muhyiddin denied claims that the government was giving Dr Zakir preferential treatment. — Bernama pic
Muhyiddin denied claims that the government was giving Dr Zakir preferential treatment. — Bernama pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik is not listed on the International Police Organization’s Red Notice of wanted criminals or fugitives, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin confirmed today.

The home minister said the Malaysian permanent resident born in Mumbai — wanted by India on money-laundering charges related to terror activities — was also not listed as a terror suspect by the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR).

“The Ministry had conducted a search on the Interpol’s Red Notice and found that the name Zakir Naik is not listed as a wanted man. His name was also not found as a suspect when we checked with the UNSCR terrorist list,” he said in a written parliamentary reply to PAS’ Kubang Kerian MP Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

Muhyiddin said the government allowed Dr Zakir free travel into and out of Malaysia, as well as within its borders, because the latter had followed all procedures and had abided by the laws of the country.

He denied claims that the government was giving Dr Zakir preferential treatment.

Muhyiddin added that Malaysia has the right to refuse the provisional arrest request from the Indian government in its diplomatic note dated December 29, 2017 and the formal extradition request for Dr Zakir made on January 19, 2018.

The minister explained that there is a provision in the Extradition Treaty between Malaysia and India which allows the restriction on return of fugitive criminals if the charges against the person are political, religious or racists in nature and the person charged is in danger of being punished.

“Malaysia has the right to refuse the extradition request as it is political in nature as stated under Article 6 Paragraph (1) (a) of  the Extradition Treaty without giving any reasons to the refusal,” said Muhyiddin. - Malay Mail, 11/7/2019

No comments: