Home minister explains why Zakir Naik, wanted by India, free in Malaysia

Muhyiddin denied claims that the government was giving Dr Zakir preferential treatment. — Bernama pic
Muhyiddin denied claims that the government was giving Dr Zakir preferential treatment. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik is not listed on the International Police Organization’s Red Notice of wanted criminals or fugitives, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin confirmed today.

The home minister said the Malaysian permanent resident born in Mumbai — wanted by India on money-laundering charges related to terror activities — was also not listed as a terror suspect by the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR).

“The Ministry had conducted a search on the Interpol’s Red Notice and found that the name Zakir Naik is not listed as a wanted man. His name was also not found as a suspect when we checked with the UNSCR terrorist list,” he said in a written parliamentary reply to PAS’ Kubang Kerian MP Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

Muhyiddin said the government allowed Dr Zakir free travel into and out of Malaysia, as well as within its borders, because the latter had followed all procedures and had abided by the laws of the country.

He denied claims that the government was giving Dr Zakir preferential treatment.

Muhyiddin added that Malaysia has the right to refuse the provisional arrest request from the Indian government in its diplomatic note dated December 29, 2017 and the formal extradition request for Dr Zakir made on January 19, 2018.

The minister explained that there is a provision in the Extradition Treaty between Malaysia and India which allows the restriction on return of fugitive criminals if the charges against the person are political, religious or racists in nature and the person charged is in danger of being punished.

“Malaysia has the right to refuse the extradition request as it is political in nature as stated under Article 6 Paragraph (1) (a) of  the Extradition Treaty without giving any reasons to the refusal,” said Muhyiddin.

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