Putrajaya careful with any extradition request, not only Zakir’s

Sheridan Mahavera Yvonne Lim

Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah says a pro-democracy, pro-human rights administration must weigh many considerations when it comes to extradition requests. – EPA pic, July 30, 2019.

PUTRAJAYA will remain careful with any request to extradite controversial preacher Zakir Naik despite being continually criticised for practising double standards.

Defending the administration’s handling of Zakir’s case, Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Putrajaya is also be careful with other extradition requests.

Each request is handled on a case-by-case basis and assessed based on the government’s position of being pro-democracy, pro-human rights and pro-rule of law, said Saifuddin.

“The position remains the same,” Saifuddin said, reiterating Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s previous statement that Putrajaya wanted assurances that Zakir would be given a fair trial in India.

“If it is believed that he may not be given a fair trial, should we send him back? That is what it is,” Saifuddin told The Malaysian Insight in a special interview called Menteri in my MyVi.  

Critics, however, said Malaysia practised double standards as in May, it deported a Thai political dissident wanted on charges of insulting the Thai royalty.  

To this point, Saifuddin said: “I guess now the government has come out with a decision that we will be more careful in sending people back.”  

The increased scrutiny will apply on all future extradition requests, he said.

India in November 2016 banned Zakir and his Islamic Research Foundation and has on three separate occasions attempted to place him on Interpol’s red notice list.

A red notice does not amount to an international arrest warrant but serves as a wanted notice.

Zakir, who has permanent residence in Malaysia, is accused of supporting terrorism and money-laundering.

On July 28, Interpol declined for the third time to issue a red notice against Zakir.

Malaysian faith groups have pressured the government to send Zakir back but the preacher also has thousands of supporters who want Putrajaya to protect him.

Going forward, Saifuddin said all extradition requests will be looked at on a case-by-case basis and that the charges validated.

“We will be more careful. We will look at their cases on a case-by-case basis. For example, there can be some reports against someone by certain countries or international organisations. On our part, we will validate that information.”

He described an example of how Pakatan Harapan will balance extradition requests with the context in which those demands are being made.  

“Say a country for the first time has a properly democratically elected government but due to some deep-state incidence, that government is dethroned,” said Saifuddin.  

“And some persons seek refuge in our country and then you have an extradition request by the new government. We will have to think twice and validate that information.

“Because we’re supposed to be a pro-democracy, pro-human rights administration that believes in freedom and the rule of law. So yes, now the government is saying they will be more careful and validate all the information.” – July 30, 2019.

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  • To this point, Saifuddin said: I guess now the government has come out with a decision that we will be more careful in sending people back.


    Posted 4 years ago by Julian Nagelsmann · Reply

    • Dont expect Jlow to be back then...

      Posted 4 years ago by MA63 SSS · Reply

  • Zakir is charged in India with money laundering not religious crimes. What is the rational of not sending him back then?

    Posted 4 years ago by Anonymous 1234 · Reply

  • The Government is being dishonest. Why sign extradition treaties with other countries if one has no intention of honoring one's word? Agreements signed with Malaysia are worth toilet paper.

    Posted 4 years ago by Arul Inthirarajah · Reply

  • Why do we dictate whether other's judiciary is fair or not? Do we have the right?

    If Putrajaya wants to help ZN, can't it give a straight-forward and more convincing reason?

    Posted 4 years ago by Tanahair Ku · Reply

  • Saifuddin, the problem is you didn't even believe your own words so you came up with all kinds of excuses to protect the hate preacher.

    Posted 4 years ago by KS S · Reply

  • What about the Thai political activist who was extradited to Thailand not too long ago? Did the PH government consider if the person will get a fair trial? Probably not because the person is a non-Muslim.

    Posted 4 years ago by Rupert Lum · Reply

  • To hide one lie, you have to tell more & more lies, until you start believing your own lie. Proverb : You can't hide a whole pumpkin inside a plate of rice. Wake up Pakatan Harapan & Malaysia, we are all disapointed with your double standards. Sent ZN back to India & send your own lawyers to defend him.

    Posted 4 years ago by Sidney Karan · Reply

  • BULLSHIT Putrajaya is covering zakir dont know why???

    Posted 4 years ago by Mindy Singh · Reply

    • 1 term for PH only

      Posted 4 years ago by MA63 SSS · Reply