Dr Zakir Naik Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Kuala Lumpur: Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, living in Malaysia for the past three years after fleeing India, has been barred from delivering public talks in every state in Malaysia, even as he faced a second round of questioning by police for his provocative remarks.

Naik, who was granted permanent residency in Malaysia after he left India on being charged with giving inflammatory speeches, has been barred from delivering public talks in every state in Malaysia by the police in the interest of national security.

Royal Malaysia Police corporate communications head Senior Asst Comm Datuk Asmawati Ahmad confirmed this, the star.com reported.

Naik, 54, was questioned by the police for 10 hours during a second round of questioning for making racial remarks.

He was seen leaving the Bukit Aman police headquarters in a Toyota Innova, the Post reported.

CID Director Huzir Mohamed told the Jakarta Post that Naik was being probed under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace.

Naik was earlier barred by seven states - Melaka, Johor, Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Sarawak - from speaking in public after his incendiary racial remarks.

Malaysia's former police chief Rahim Noor has urged the government to rescind his Permanent Residency (PR) status and return him to India.

"Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had commented that the government will consider rescinding his PR status if it is proven that he has committed criminal offences," Noor was quoted as saying.

Naik has been slammed for making racial comments during an August 3 talk. He had said that Hindus in Malaysia get "100 times more rights" than the Muslim minority gets in India, and yet they support the "Prime Minister of India and not the Prime Minister of Malaysia".

Despite facing calls for deportation by multiple parties, Naik called on the Malaysian Chinese to "go back first" as they were the "old guests" of the country.

Malaysia's impatience with Naik also comes days after Malaysian Minister P. Waytha Moorthy, Special envoy of Prime Minister Mahathir, visited India and met Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

Naik apologies for sensitive remarks

Zakir Naik apologised on Tuesday for making racially sensitive remarks in Malaysia, a day after he was questioned by police for hours over the comments.

Naik, who faces charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, has come under fire for comments that pitted Malaysia's ethnic and religious minorities against the predominantly Muslim Malay majority.

Malaysian police grilled Naik for 10 hours on Monday about a speech earlier this month in which he said Hindus in Malaysia had "100 times more rights" than the Muslim minority in India, and that Malaysian Chinese were guests of the country.

Naik, who has lived in Malaysia for about three years, apologised for his remarks but insisted that he was not a racist. He said his detractors had taken his comments out of context and added "strange fabrications to them".

"It was never my intention to upset any individual or community," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

"It is against the basic tenets of Islam, and I would like to convey my heartfelt apologies for this misunderstanding," Naik said.

Naik has permanent residency in Malaysia. Several ministers called for his expulsion after his controversial remarks and at least seven states have barred him from speaking in public.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Sunday Naik was free to preach about Islam but should not speak about Malaysia's racial politics, state media reported.