Issues pertaining to controversial Indian preacher Zakir Naik were brought up in yesterday’s cabinet meeting, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo confirmed today.
He said the government was committed to following the rule of law and "acting accordingly" if the Indian government presented a convincing case for Zakir’s extradition.
"As far as we are concerned, India has stated that they have a case. Now what has to be done is, India has to put forward its case.
"Once the case is put forward, that case has to be considered, (and we will) make a decision on whether he should be sent back or not.
"This is what we discussed in cabinet yesterday," Gobind told a press conference in Shah Alam.
He had earlier launched Pos Malaysia’s newly expanded Integrated Processing Centre.
Zakir, who has Malaysian permanent residency, is facing court charges in India for money laundering, supporting terrorist activities and inciting religious tension.
It was previously reported that the Indian government had placed an extradition request for Zakir in January this year.
When pressed on this, Gobind declined to deny or confirm it but said "you better check on that".
The Indian government has been contacted for comment.
Mahathir has refused to bow to pressure to deport Zakir, citing the excuse that the latter did not commit any crime in Malaysia.
Mahathir's defence of Zakir was welcomed by the preacher, who thanked the prime minister and said he has full faith in Malaysia's democracy and rule of law.
Gerakan should examine itself
Meanwhile, Gobind denied allegations by Gerakan’s Baljit Singh, who said Indian leaders in Pakatan Harapan had failed to keep their promises to get Zakir deported.
In turn, the Puchong MP questioned Gerakan’s track record when the former BN component party was in government.
“I think Gerakan should ask itself (when it was in) government for 61 years, what did it do? It failed the people and that’s the reason why the people rejected them (in the 14th general election).
“Our position is different – we speak up in Cabinet meetings and we express views of the people.
“When this became an issue, all three of us (ministers) went to Cabinet - me, (Human Resources Minister) M Kulasegaran and (Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources) Xavier Jeyakumar,” he said.
Baljit, who is the Gerakan’s legal and human rights bureau head, had also chided Harapan lawmakers for being unable to convince prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to extradite the preacher.
"There are two Indian ministers and two deputy ministers in the Harapan cabinet now, but it seems they are unable to convince their prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the need to deport Zakir," he had previously said.