PETALING JAYA: Former Umno minister Zaid Ibrahim questioned Putrajaya for protecting controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, saying he should be sent back to India to face the law.
Zaid sent out three tweets today soon after Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters in Putrajaya that Naik has Malaysian permanent resident status.
Zahid said there was also no question of extradition of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) founder to India.
“Why dont we send Zakir Naik back to India? Because he is a Muslim preacher; even if a useless one,” Zaid tweeted, followed by two more messages:
“India is not like Malaysia. They don’t torture those who are brought to trial. Rule of law observed better than in this country”.
“So Malaysian PR can escape law of his own country”.
Zaid was also referring to a report on Sunday quoting Naik as saying that he does not wish to go back to India to answer questions from Indian police, fearing he would be tortured.
Earlier today, Zahid, who is also home minister, said the government will assist Indian authorities if there was any request for mutual legal assistance on a probe into money laundering charges that allegedly involve IRF.
“There is nothing for us to investigate. That needs to be done by the Indian authorities themselves.
“However, we will give our cooperation should a request for mutual legal assistance (MLA) come from the Indian authorities, provided there is a relevant agreement between both countries on such cooperation,” Zahid said.
Meanwhile, the Times of India reported on Saturday that India’s National Investigation Agency was seeking a Red Notice from Interpol after Naik had defied repeated summons to join in the probe into his affairs in India.
The Red Notice is the closest instrument to an international warrant of arrest. Last month, Malaysian police had successfully obtained a Red Notice after requesting Interpol’s help for the arrest of four North Korean men who were wanted for questioning on the murder of Kim Jong Nam at the klia2 on Feb 13 this year.
Asked if Malaysian police will comply with such a notice and arrest the controversial preacher, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar simply said: “Let them apply first.”
Former information minister, Zainuddin Maidin, also took a dig at Zahid’s statement on Naik’s PR status suggesting that it gave the preacher the right to meddle in Malaysian politics.