CONTROVERSIAL preacher Zamihan Mat Zain has pledged his loyalty to Prime Minister Najib Razak, days after a video surfaced of him criticising a government decision to give land to Saudi Arabia.
Zamihan, who is employed by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), however, said: “Giving opinions is not the same as insulting”.
In a posting on his Facebook account, Zamihan said the video, which was recorded during a religious talk in Ampang, was edited to discredit and defame him.
“I am very respectful of Najib as the number one leader of the country. I am still loyal to him ‘as the government of the day’.
“There are irresponsible people who edited my ceramah and took bits and pieces of it in order to attack and defame me,” Zamihan wrote in his Facebook post.
The video showed Zamihan calling Najib Razak “stupid” for giving a 16ha piece of landto the Middle Eastern country for the King Salman Centre for International Peace to combat terrorism.
In the video, Zamihan said Malaysia already had enough resources in the police, Home Ministry and other security agencies to fight terrorism and did not need Saudi help.
“Why do we need to rely on Saudis to fight Daesh (the Islamic State terrorist group)? Saudis are the ones who gave birth to Daesh,” Zamihan said in the video.
He also said he was willing to be reprimanded over the video.
In his Facebook post, Zamihan said the 1½-hour ceramah in July was focused on studying an Islamic text. But the video uploaded on YouTube was only two minutes.
“The motive was to clearly pit me against other government leaders. May you be faithful to God and be fair in your assessment of any news,” he said.
Zamihan landed in trouble after he was investigated under the Sedition Act for criticism of a royal edict banning Muslim-only launderettes in Johor.
He was also stripped of the accreditation to preach about Islam in Johor and Selangor.
Though he is employed by Jakim, Zamihan has been seconded to the Prison Department where he is involved in rehabilitating militants.