Send Zakir Naik to Saudi Arabia if he is a citizen there, MP tells PM

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Ramkarpal argued that there is no proof that Zakir will be killed if he is sent back to India. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh has urged Putrajaya to deport Dr Zakir Naik to Saudi Arabia, if it is worried that the Indian government may discriminate against the fugitive preacher.

He also said that there is no proof that the televangelist will be killed if he is sent back to India to answer for his criminal charges, despite Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim earlier.

“It has been reported that Zakir was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia in 2017 although the status of his said citizenship today is unclear,” the DAP MP said in a statement.

“If Zakir is a Saudi citizen, Malaysia must forthwith take the necessary steps to send him there, assuming his life would be in danger if he were to be sent back to India which remains a bare assertion.

“Surely, Saudi Arabia would be willing to take Zakir if it has given him citizenship,” he added.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir alleged that Dr Zakir runs the risk of being killed if the controversial televangelist is deported back home to India to face charges of money laundering and inspiring terrorism.

However, the prime minister said he is open to the idea of sending the fugitive Indian national to other countries, following renewed backlash against the preacher for his remarks against local ethnic Indians.

“I note the Prime Minister’s stand that Zakir’s safety will be compromised in India although there seems to be no evidence of this apart from claims by Zakir himself that this would be the case.

“That being the case, Zakir should be sent back to India without any hesitation,” Ramkarpal said.

He said Putrajaya cannot delay the action, claiming Dr Zakir is likely to repeat his appalling behaviour in the future with impunity, if he is not reprimanded by the authorities.

“Zakir Naik is a danger to this country. There can be no two ways about it. The PM can no longer ignore the growing calls for his removal, including from the Malays.

“He has a duty to protect all Malaysians and his failure to act now will be a major dereliction of duty on his part,” he said.

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