KUALA LUMPUR: A cabinet minister and president of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a component party of Malaysia's ruling coalition, said on Thursday (Apr 20) that controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik should not be allowed to remain in Malaysia nor should he be allowed to use his “questionable” credentials to solicit support from the country to shield him from prosecution in India.
The Times Of India on Thursday reported that a non-bailable warrant of arrest had been issued for the televangelist, who is wanted by authorities there for his alleged role in a terror case.
Zakir is in Malaysia, where he has permanent residence, and has reportedly said he does not want to return to India for fear of torture.
"It is known that the Zakir Naik-owned, provocative evangelist TV channel, has been banned in Bangladesh, Canada and in the UK," said Dr S Subramaniam in a statement.
"When a large Muslim country like Bangladesh has taken action against Zakir Naik, we in Malaysia should never allow a proven provocateur to remain in our midst advocating his nefarious and divisive form of Islamic worldview. Zakir Naik should not be allowed to use his questionable religious credentials to solicit support from Malaysia to be shielded from possible prosecution in India."
Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the media this week that India could seek mutual legal assistance to gain custody of Zakir if there was an existing agreement.
Earlier this month, his ministry said it had no reason to bar Zakir's entry to Malaysia.
"The preacher Zakir Naik is not listed as a terrorist entity in the United Nations Security Resolution (UNSCR) 1988 and UNSCR 1267. As such (the Home Affairs Ministry) has no objections to the entry of the individual because he has not violated any of the country’s laws," Zahid said in a reply to a question posed in parliament.
Last year, Malaysia's police chief banned Zakir from delivering a talk in Malaysia, fearing it would cause division in the multi-religious nation.