Dr Zakir Abdul Karim Naik has thanked the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) for giving free publicity to his upcoming lecture in Malacca this Sunday.

The International Islamic preacher said now, he could speak to an even bigger audience.

"First of all I would like to thank Hindraf. I would like to thank them for giving me free publicity. Now I speak to a bigger audience.

"The second thing I would like to thank them for is in getting the Muslims together [...] When the enemies come, it unites the Muslims," he said when asked about his upcoming speech.

Dr Zakir said this during a Q&A session after delivering his lecture titled "Does God Exist?" at Sekolah Menengah Imtiaz Besut, Terengganu, last night.

READ: 8 facts you need to know about controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik

At the same time, he also thanked the Malaysian government for allowing him to give a public lecture at the Technical University of Malaysia Malacca (UTeM) despite him having to change his topic from "Similarities between Hinduism and Islam" to "Women's Rights in Islam".

"With what has happened, I feel that the attendees in Malacca will increase.

"What I believe is that, if I can unite even a small number of Muslims, I am grateful and pray that Allah will bless my efforts," Dr Zakir added.

The public lecture in UTeM was initially cancelled following objections from Hindraf and other Indian-based groups. However, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday said the Malaysian government has allowed for the lecture to proceed provided Dr Zakir change his topic.

Last night's lecture was attended by about 30,000 people, including Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman and Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

READ: Talk by Dr Zakir Naik's son in Penang allowed on two conditions

READ: Penang's P. Ramasamy regrets calling Dr Zakir Naik "syaitan"