Prime Minister Modi has not asked for the extradition of Zakir Naik: Prime Minister Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday that his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi has not requested extradition of those wanted in India for money laundering and terrorist charges, and his country is looking for a place to send the radical preacher.

Naik, a 53-year-old radical television preacher, left India in 2016 and moved to predominantly Muslim Malaysia, where he was a permanent resident.

Mahathir said Modi, whom he met earlier this month at an economic forum in Russia, has not made any extradition request to the controversial Islamic televangelist, despite official announcement from New Delhi.

Modi had briefed the rapporteurs on the prime minister's bilateral meeting with Mahathir. Foreign Minister Vijay Gokhale said Modi had raised the question of Naik's extradition to the Malaysian prime minister.

Not many countries want him. I met with modes. He did not ask me about this man, Mahathir told Malaysian radio station BFM 89.9 when asked about Naik's extradition.

He also said that Malaysia was looking for a place to send Zakir, who has recently made racially sensitive comments against Hindus and Chinese Malaysians.

The Prime Minister then reiterated that Zakir should no longer speak publicly after his racial statements in Malaysia.

Well, he is not a citizen of this country. He was, I believe, granted the status of permanent residence by the previous government. A permanent resident should not comment on the systems and policies of that country. He hurt this. He must not speak now.

We try to find a place to go to, but right now nobody wants to accept him (Naik), he said.

Naik is wanted by Indian authorities since 2016 for alleged money laundering and incitement to extremism through hate speech.

He was banned from any public activity in the multi-ethnic country on August 8, after his statements against Malaysian Hindus and Chinese.