Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday said that India Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not request him to hand over Radical Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is facing an arrest in India for money laundering and terror-related charges.
Reportedly, the Malaysian prime minister added that his Indian counterpart whom he met on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in Russia earlier this month, made no extradition request for the controversial Islamic televangelist despite official notice from New Delhi.
Speaking to local media, Mahathir Mohamad said, “Not many countries want him (Zakir Naik). I met Prime Minister Modi, he didn’t ask me for him.”
He also said that Malaysia is still looking for a place to send Zakir Naik who has made racially sensitive comments recently accusing Hindu Malaysians of being more loyal to PM Modi. “We are trying to find someplace he can go to but at the moment, no one wants to accept him”, said Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir Mohamad’s statement comes nearly a fortnight after Prime Minister Modi met his Malaysian counterpart in Russia at the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum meet. Media reports at that time had quoted foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale and stated that the issue of Naik was discussed between the two leaders.
Radical Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has also been causing trouble in Malaysia, a country where he was granted permanent resident status. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad mentioned that he was given the status by the previous government and now, due to his racially hateful speeches and statements, Malaysian authorities have imposed a nationwide ban on Zakir Naik stopping him from speaking in public.
It is notable here that many Malaysian states have also barred Naik from entering their jurisdiction.