BALING, April 1 – Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Datuk Zulkifli Noordin apologised today for hurting the feelings of the Indian community in his speech which he said was made 10 years ago.
State news agency Bernama reported Zulkifli (picture) as saying the speech was made when he was a PAS member back then and admitted it was a mistake and expressed remorse over the statement as it was inappropriate.
PAS sacked the lawyer in 2008 when he contested the general elections that year under the PKR banner, with several leaders saying he held extremist views.
PKR sacked him in 2010 and he then became close to Umno and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and later made a vice-president of the Malay rights group Perkasa.
In the Bernama report, Zulkifli questioned the opposition parties why they were using his past speeches now as a weapon to damage his image and reputation as he is now pro-government.
“I was a lawyer for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his first sodomy trial and was naive back then,” he told reporters after giving a speech here, today.
Kedah DAP committee member S. Neelamekan had criticised Zulkifli last week for making remarks on the Indian community in a video clip.
Hindu umbrella group Hindu Sangam said last Friday that it had previously complained about apparent insults to Hindus made by Zulkifli, but no action was taken “because he is a Muslim.”
It added that a video of Zulkifli, making what the opposition has said are vicious attacks against Hinduism, had originally surfaced in 2011.
Zulkifli was recorded in a video uploaded last Thursday on YouTube as questioning the purity of the Ganges River in India, which the Hindus consider sacred, claiming that chicken carcasses were floating in it.
The video angered several MIC leaders, who told Zulkifli to “shut up”, apologise and retract his remarks.
Asked whether he would be contesting in the upcoming 13th general election, Zulkifli said he had received offers and would consider them.
He won in Election 2008, receiving 22,255 votes for the Kulim/Bandar Baharu parliamentary seat, defeating BN candidate Datuk Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir with a 5,583-vote majority.