Malaysia to assist India in Dr Zakir Naik probe (Updated)

PUTRAJAYA: Controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik has permanent resident (PR) status in Malaysia, which was granted to him about five years ago, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Nonetheless, Ahmad Zaid who is also the Home Minister said Malaysia will assist India to investigate the Islamic Research Foundation president if that country made a request for legal assistance.

"I would like to confirm that he (Zakir) holds a permanent residence status but he is not a Malaysian citizen.

"He has been awarded with the permanent status about five years ago, even before i was appointed as Home Minister.

"If there is a request(from India) for our assistance, we are going to give full cooperation to India," Ahmad Zahid said after he officiated at the Human Ecology International Conference 2017 at Dorsett hotel here today.

Zahid was appointed home minister after Barisan Nasional won the 13th general election in May 2013.

He took over from Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who is now the Defence Minister and a special functions minister.

On Sunday, Dr Zakir told the Indian government to look for him in Malaysia amid its plans to seek Interpol assistance in a terrorism investigation against him.

Dr Zakir accused the Indian authorities of practising double standards, and he is not willing to present himself before India's National Investigation Agency (NIA), claiming that instances of abuse are rife among Muslim activists.

He then urged NIA to investigate him at a neutral ground.

Earlier, The Times of India reported that the NIA had decided to seek Interpol in issuing a Red Corner Notice, aiming at curbing Zakir's movements.

A Red Notice is an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol. It was issued on behalf of the Indian government after Dr Zakir defied repeated summonses by it.

Earlier in his speech, Ahmad Zahid said future leaders must think unconventionally to transform the economic foundation, and place Malaysia in an advantageous position without succumbing to the
business powerhouses and greedy businessmen.

He said there is a rise of corporations that ignore national boundaries and demand a "level playing field" without respecting policies that protect a nation's interest.

"Economic warfare has given rise to unethical practices that deviate from Adam Smith's moral principles of economies that equal distribution of wealth is the basis of the social framework.

"Currency warfare and market monopolies are shrinking the money markets of most nations," Ahmad Zahid said.