GEORGE TOWN, April 12 — An image showing Lim Guan Eng allegedly vowing on Twitter to block Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik from entering Penang has been dismissed as fake by the chief minister’s aide.
Lim’s special officer Major Zaidi Ahmad, who lodged a police report on the matter here, said the image had been doctored to look like a screenshot of chief minister’s official Twitter account.
According to Zaidi, the message in Bahasa Malaysia said, “Zakir Naik mesti disekat. Saya akan pastikan dia tidak masuk Pulau Pinang. Rakyat mesti tolak dan halau extremist agama macam dia”.
[Translation: Zakir Naik must be stopped. I will make sure he does not enter Penang. The people must reject extremists like him].
“But there was no such tweet in his Twitter feed so this is obviously a false image that was spread to slander the chief minister," Zaidi said before lodging the report at the Northeast district police headquarters this afternoon.
He said the report was to avoid misunderstanding, noting that the fake image has been spread across several social media platforms, including through WhatsApp.
Zaidi also claimed that the image was likely being spread to incite hatred against Lim.
He urged the police to take appropriate action on the matter.
Penang police today said they will not allow any talks by Dr Zakir in the state, according to instructions from Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
The IGP had yesterday told organisers of the preacher’s lecture series comparing Hinduism and Islam, scheduled at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia in Malacca this Sunday, to cancel the event, saying it was not beneficial.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said this afternoon, however, that another forum featuring the preacher in Bukit Jalil this weekend will go on as scheduled.
Dr Zakir's religious talks have drawn criticisms due to his views in comparing Hinduism and Islam.
The preacher, who received the government’s Tokoh Maal Hijrah award in 2013, previously angered the Hindu community here by allegedly insulting their deities along with the vegetarian practises of the faith.
The Islamic Research Foundation president had also been denied entry to Canada and United Kingdom in 2012 after he reportedly expressed his support of terrorist group al-Qaeda.