LTTE v/s Zakir Naik: A Malaysian Dilemma?

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam issue has come to light, and it reminds us of the Zakir Naik issue, in what is bound to be a Malaysian dilemma.

There are two fundamentals here, one is the guiding principle in Malaysia’s decision to keep Zakir Naik in the country. The other is the policy in Malaysia regarding terror organisations.

Of course, terror organisations are banned in the country, and this includes the LTTE from Sri Lanka, which is also banned in many countries.

But what made the LTTE poke its head in Malaysia, knowing the laws of the country will force them underground?

We believe the LTTE reared its head in Malaysia for one main reason: Zakir Naik.

Several DAP ministers and high profile members of Indian origin gave Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad some time to ponder on what he plans to do with Dr Zakir Naik.

Dr Mahathir did not give a complete, definite answer. He gave many reasons why he is still keeping Zakir in the country. He also gave many other reasons why Zakir is beloved among many locals, Muslims indeed.

But it is the ‘human’ angle that gave Dr Mahathir the reason to keep Zakir here. Zakir risks being killed if they deport him to India and Malaysia will face the backlash in the Muslim world if that happens.

LTTE-DAP?

The people in the DAP who are accused of LTTE links or sympathy are the among those who pressed Dr Mahathir on the Zakir Naik matter.

They raised the issue on the very first few Cabinet meetings, in a mutiny that rocked the Mahathir regime for the first time since after it took power.

The forces behind the LTTE-DAP revelations were active for months, calling for the removal or arrest of the Penang deputy CM, Prof. Dr P. Ramasamy.

Ramasamy is one of the main contenders working for the deportation of Zakir Naik to India.

Rumours filled the social media platforms in Malaysia with stories or comments on Ramasamy’s link alleged links to the LTTE.

No one would have thought the LTTE-links garbage that was circulating would take a sudden turn this month.

The police arrested several Malaysians for their alleged links with the LTTE. But it is several Facebook posts from a local Malay group calling itself the Pusat Kajian Ancaman Pengganas Misionari Di Malaysia that sparked the counter-LTTE activities in the country.

The page posted videos showing a young Malaysian of Indian origin speaking in Malay telling of his support and ‘love’ for the LTTE.

HE also said the LTTE was the ‘saviour’ of the Tamils in Malaysia but warned the local police not to stop or intervene against their activities in the country.

And this was perhaps the clue that the police had to act.

Zakir?

For the supporters of Zakir Naik, this is vindication. Their favourite speaker/Islamic scholar who is under a blanket ban from making public speeches can feel relieved.

At least for the moment and as long as he does not meddle in local politics. This means, his good behaviour would get him to live in Malaysia for as long as he wants.

But any missteps like the ones he did which raised the ire of many people in Malaysia would get him into further trouble.

But the point is, the accusers and the people who so badly want Zakir out of Malaysia are now irreparably tainted.

Whether the DAP will be able to shun the accusations of links with the LTTE —That is its members having links with the Tamil Tigers— or not, will not matter.

There is a picture of Human Resource Minister M Kulasegaran taking a picture with Seeman Senthamilan, the chief coordinator of Naam Tamilar, an Indian-based party which support LTTE, remains a dark spot.

It is akin to WFTV taking a selfie with Zakir Naik. (We did not) but if we did, we will be accused of being in favour of ‘terrorists’. Right?

This will not go away that easily. And if other evidence surfaces of LTTE links, based on what is reported today that Bukit Aman’s Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) have detected financial transactions involving huge sum of money in Malaysia to activate the LTTE group in the country.

E8 principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the financial transactions were detected in the accounts of individuals detained in the operations carried out on Thursday and Saturday (Oct 10 and 12) over their alleged involvement in LTTE.

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