Controversial preacher at centre of extradition dispute meets prime minister this morning at brief unscheduled meeting.
Controversial Indian Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik, who is wanted by Indian authorities, met with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today, sources have confirmed with FMT.
“I can confirm that Naik went to see Tun (Mahathir) this morning,” said the source.
It is unclear as to what Naik discussed with Mahathir in their first meeting since Pakatan Harapan took power in Putrajaya, though the meeting, which was unscheduled, was said to be brief.
The meeting between Naik and Mahathir comes a day after the prime minister gave the clearest indication yet that the federal government would not deport Naik, who is wanted by Indian authorities over allegations of money laundering and terrorism.
There had been intense media speculation in India that the Malaysian government would act on an extradition request made in January. The Indian foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday that an official request had been made.
But yesterday, Mahathir said that the government would not deport Naik as he has been granted Malaysian permanent resident status unless he causes trouble.
Naik has accused the media in India of subjecting him to a campaign of vilification over the past two years. He said “fake news” about his deportation would be exposed.
“Most of the articles published against me will be proved as having no basis and that they were false,” he said in a new video message through his Facebook page. – FMT