MELAKA: Malaysia has the right not to extradite controversial Indian preacher Dr Zakir Naik if he is not going to be accorded fair justice, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister likened this with Australia not extraditing Sirul Azhar Umar, the former bodyguard who was sentenced to death in 2015 for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, to Malaysia.
“We requested Australia to extradite Sirul 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 told reporters after launching an affordable homes scheme in Lipat Kajang, Jasin, yesterday.
It was reported that India’s Enforcement Directorate would seek Interpol’s cooperation to detain the controversial preacher with an eye on extraditing him from Malaysia to face money-laundering charges in India.
The report stated that the Directorate was working on getting a non-bailable warrant for Zakir’s arrest from a Mumbai court, which it expects to secure on June 19.
On Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar hosting Hari Raya gatherings for political party leaders, Dr Mahathir said Rulers were free to do so but they should not get involved in politics.
Yesterday, Sultan Ibrahim received a visit from Johor Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leaders in conjunction with Hari Raya at Istana Pasir Pelangi.
On Sunday, the Ruler also hosted a similar event for Johor Umno leaders.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir said keeping one’s temperament in check should be part of a civil servant’s work ethic.
He said civil servants must be able to control their emotions when dealing with the people.
“We must ensure that people-friendly services are rendered,” he said in an address to Melaka civil servants at Seri Negeri in Ayer Keroh.
Dr Mahathir said it was the responsibility of civil servants to provide efficient and prompt services to the people.
“Serving the people as a civil servant is part of your noble obligation as well as your responsibility as a government employee,” he said.
He reminded that the success of a government department depended very much on the efficient management of civil servants.
He said the government was serious in combating corruption, ensuring good governance and upholding accountability, besides improving the civil service.
The Prime Minister said it was also important for civil servants to keep abreast with the 4th Industrial Revolution involving automation technology such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, system integration and cloud computing.
“The civil service is not exempted from this technology stream. Industry 4.0 will be the catalyst for the transformation of the government administrative system.
“As such, all government agencies must jointly ensure that civil servants are not left behind but are always up to date in terms of new skills through various initiatives such as upskilling and reskilling as outlined in the National Policy on Industry 4.0,” Dr Mahathir added.