There have been renewed calls from a Hindu group to deport fugitive preacher Zakir Naik to India to face criminal charges.
The Hindu Agamam Ani Malaysia Association urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to make the bold decision to deport the controversial speaker and not repeat the same mistake by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Group adviser Arun Dorasamy told The Malaysian Insight that Muhyiddin must show leadership by deporting Zakir.
“A leader should be firm and strong and, in this case, instead of making a popular decision, Muhyiddin must make the right decision.
“There are pending criminal charges against him, let him face them,” Arun told The Malaysian Insight.
He said Muhyiddin must not wreck the good bilateral relationship between India and Malaysia by protecting the fugitive.
“Malaysia and India not only have good trade relations, but we have cultural and historical ties that date back years.”
India charged Zakir with money-laundering over activities surrounding his Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).
The charge sheet against Zakir, which was filed in a Mumbai special court under India’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act, identified criminal assets worth RM113 million.
Arun’s comments came after Dr Mahathir recently told Indian news outlet WION that Zakir would most likely be sent to another country where “he would be safe”.
Dr Mahathir also previously said Zakir will not be accorded a fair trial in India.
Arun said Dr Mahathir is in no position to make assumptions about India’s judicial system, adding that being the largest democracy in the world, it will give Zakir a fair trial.
Zakir last year caused a stir when he delivered a racially charged speech at a gathering in PAS-led Kelantan.
This led to criticism against the controversial preacher and Zakir responded by suing five of his critics for defamation.
Among them were former human resources Minister M Kula Segaran, Penang Deputy Chief Minister ll P Ramasamay, Klang MP Charles Santiago, Bagan Dalam assemblyman M Satees and former ambassador Dennis Ignatius.
Zakir, who was granted permanent residency in Malaysia during Barisan Nasional’s rule, is also said to possess Saudi Arabian citizenship. – TMI