PETALING JAYA: Controversial preacher Zakir Naik is an unwelcome guest in Malaysia but the country is facing difficulties sending him away.
In an interview with Turkish international news channel TRT world, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said although Zakir's extreme views was a threat to the country's racial and religious relations, it was difficult to remove him because no other country wanted him.
"We have a multi-racial, multi-religious population in Malaysia. We don't want anybody who comes up and expresses extreme views about race relations and other religions.
"But on the other hand, it is difficult to send him anywhere else because many countries do not want to have him, " he said when asked to give his views about the Indian-born preacher, who is now a Malaysian permanent resident.
On Tuesday (July 30) the 53-year-old preacher maintained his innocence on terrorism charges made against him back home in India.
He also said that the international police organisation, Interpol, has refused to issue a Red Notice for him.
"It only shows how flimsy the Indian government's charges against me are, " he was quoted as saying.
On June 28, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia would not extradite Zakir to his home country despite receiving an extradition application from India to face money-laundering charges.