Modi didn't ask me to return Zakir Naik, says Dr M

Azril Annuar
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad meets Narendra Modi ahead of the Eastern Economic Summit earlier this month. Dr Mahathir says Modi made no extradition request for Dr Zakir Naik despite official notice from New Delhi.― Picture via Twitter/bernamadotcom

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said India Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not request Malaysia return Mumbai-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik who is wanted in his home country for money laundering and terror-related charges.

The Malaysian prime minister added that his Indian counterpart whom he met in Russia during an economic forum earlier this month made no extradition request for the controversial Islamic televangelist despite official notice from New Delhi.

“Not many countries want him. I met with Modi. He didn't ask me for this man,” Dr Mahathir said in an interview with BFM's the Breakfast Grille this morning.

He also said that Putrajaya is still looking for a place to send Dr Zakir who has made racially sensitive comments recently accusing Hindu Malaysians of being more loyal to Modi.

The prime minister then reaffirmed that Dr Zakir will no longer be allowed to publicly speak in Malaysia following his racially divisive remarks which include saying that the Chinese should be sent back to China.

“Well, he's not a national of this country. He has been given, I think by the previous government, permanent residence status. A permanent resident isn't supposed to make any comments on this country's systems and politics. He has breached that. He is now not allowed to speak.

“We are trying to find some place he can go to but at the moment, no one wants to accept him,” said Dr Mahathir.

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