“Dr Mahathir prioritizes Zakir’s comfort over rule of law”

“Dr Mahathir prioritizes Zakir’s comfort over rule of law”

PUCHONG: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s stance who said that Malaysia will not extradite Indian Muslim televangelist, Dr Zakir Naik to India puts the rule of law on the back seat.

Dr Brahma Chellaney, a professor of security studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research and Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin claimed that Dr Mahathir’s stand prioritises the comforts of a terrorist or extremist or terrorist more than the rule of law.

“Dr. Mahathir says Malaysia will not extradite radical Islamist preacher Zakir Naik to India because “Zakir in general feels he’s not going to get a fair trial” in his home nation,” said Chellaney on Twitter yesterday.

“This sets a new principle—the comfort of a terrorist or extremist matter more than the rule of law,” he added.

The current Pakatan Harapan government came to power as it promised a governance that is based on the rule of law.

Chellaney is the first foreigner to criticize Mahathir on this issue.

Yesterday Mahathir claimed that Malaysia has the right not to extradite Zakir as the latter felt that he would not get a fair trial.

“We requested Australia to extradite Sirul (Azhar Umar) and they were afraid that we were going to send him to the gallows.

“It’s the same, and Dr Zakir in general felt that he was not going to get a fair trial (in India),” he said.

Dr Mahathir said it in response to efforts by India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) that is seeking Interpol’s Red Notice to extradite Zakir to face money laundering charges in India.

The ED is confident of gaining a non-bailable arrest warrant by 19 June.

Chellaney is not the first to criticize Dr Mahathir’s stand.

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh of the DAP and lawyer Siti Kasim said that it is wrong to equate Sirul’s case with Zakir.

Sirul was convicted for the murder of Altantuya Shaaribuu and sentenced to death. Australia is against the death penalty.