On June 10, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made it clear that Malaysia has the right to not extradite controversial Indian preacher Zakir Naik back to his home country. The premier said that it is uncertain that Zakir will have a justified trial back in India.
Therefore, he decided not to extradite the Islamic preacher, citing that the Australian government did the same thing in not extraditing Malaysian fugitive Sirul Azhar Umar back to the country. Sirul is a prime suspect in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Zakir is wanted by the Indian authorities on money laundering charges. Besides, he made several controversial remarks on Hinduism in his past preaching. Additionally, Zakir was alleged to indoctrinate extremism among his followers. Hence, there is a concern that he might not get a fair trial because India is a Hindu-majority country.
On Twitter, netizens were divided on the Prime Minister’s stance of not extraditing Zakir back to India.
From the Twitter network of Zakir Naik, clusters are widely separated from each other. This indicates that there weren’t many inter-cluster interactions.
The biggest cluster is the blue violet with @Chellaney as its sole influencer.
The account sarcastically responded to Mahathir’s decision, stating that “the comfort of a terrorist or extremist matters more than the rule of law”. Most of the responses @Chellaney received were in his favour.
Meanwhile, the pink cluster discussed on Zakir’s response to the issue. The preacher said that he is willing to return home if India’s Supreme Court can give him a written surety that he won’t imprisoned until he is proven guilty. The reactions on the matter were divided.
On the other hand, the orange cluster discussed that Tun Mahathir provided a bad example by linking Zakir with Sirul.
But the users in the yellow cluster were in favour of Mahathir’s decision of not extraditing Zakir. The group was under the influence of @fred9fr.
In the mainstream media, activist lawyer Siti Kasim and DAP Legal Bureau chairman Ramkarpal Singh criticized the Prime Minister for not extraditing the Indian preacher. Nevertheless, Tun Mahathir received supports from Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin, Kelantan mufti Datuk Muhammad Shukri Muhamad and Perak PAS via its commissioner Razman Zakaria, among others.
Did Tun Mahathir make the right move by not extraditing Zakir Naik?