Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said that he will not give in easily just because there were demands from India to extradite controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik.
Mohamad said his government would always ensure that it looked into all factors before responding to any such demand. “Otherwise, someone will become a victim,” the New Straits Times quoted him as saying on Tuesday.
“We do not easily follow the demands of others. We must look at all factors before we respond,” he said.
The Prime Minister was asked if some parties in his coalition government wanted to expel the preacher, who is now a permanent resident of Malaysia and is wanted by the Indian government on charges of money-laundering and terror links.
The leader of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Ramasamy Palanisamy, said that he suspected that there was some secret deal between Malaysia and India.
Mohamad last week said the cleric will not be handed over to Indian authorities as he had been granted permanent resident status in Malaysia.
He had said that Naik, who left India in 2016, would be allowed to stay in Malaysia as long as he did not create any problem.
However, the decision did not go down well with several groups, who insisted that the government return Naik to India following his alleged tendencies to make racial and religiously insensitive statements, the report said.
It was reported that New Delhi had made a formal request for Naik to be returned to India after accusing him of inciting youngsters to commit terror activities through hate speeches.
Naik has accused the Indian media of vilifying him over the past two years. (IANS)