GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
»
2-min read

As Malaysia Snubs India on Zakir Naik, a Look at Where Bilateral Ties Stand at the Moment

How Zakir Naik's deportation will affect the existing, yet growing, diplomatic and strategic ties between the two Asian countries, is yet to be seen.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:July 6, 2018, 5:18 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
As Malaysia Snubs India on Zakir Naik, a Look at Where Bilateral Ties Stand at the Moment
File photo of controversial preacher Zakir Naik.
New Delhi: In May earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first world leaders to have met newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad. This was the first meeting of the two leaders after 92-year-old Mahathir became the oldest elected leader in the world when his opposition alliance swept the elections to overthrow the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Now, barely two months after their meeting, Mahathir has said that his country will not deport controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

His statement came just a day after the Ministry of External Affairs here said that India’s request for deporting Naik was under active consideration by the Malaysian government. It is, however, yet to issue a response on Mahathir’s latest statement. However, Minister of state, home, Hansraj Ahir said that “maybe not now, but Naik will be brought to justice and won’t be spared.”

India-Malaysia ties hit its highest point last year during an official visit of then Malaysian PM Najib Razak to India, marking 60 years of bilateral diplomatic relations. Both Modi and Razak had, during the joint address, said that the relations were at a “historic high”. Both countries exchanged 7 MoUs in the areas of sports, entrepreneurship, air services, technology, etc and cemented the decade long association that Malaysia and India had. The two leaders are said to have discussed business worth $5 billion.

Malaysia is India’s third largest partner in ASEAN, after Indonesia and Singapore. Similarly, India is also the largest trading partner for Malaysia in South Asia, excluding Singapore and China. Malaysia has offered market access to India on various items of export interest like rice, mangoes, basmati, eggs. Similarly, India has offered Malaysia access to items like fruits, cocoa, palm oil products.

As per the MEA, according to data available from 1980 to 2016, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) have informed that Indian companies have invested in 242 manufacturing projects over US$ 2.62 billion in Malaysia including 8 projects in 2016 for USD 297 million. There are over 150 major Indian companies, including more than 60 IT ventures, operating in Malaysia.

As far as defence is considered, they held their first military exercise in 2012 and their first naval exercise in 2016. Both countries have also cooperated on training of defence personnel operating Sukhoi fighter planes, submarines, etc.

Defence cooperation with Malaysia, considering the power games in the Indian Ocean, is of strategic importance to India. When Modi and Mahathir met on the sidelines of the Shangri La Dialogue earlier this year, they discussed better cooperation along the Malacca Straits, the most important trade route in the region. Now, how the issue of Naik’s deportation will affect the existing, yet growing, diplomatic and strategic ties between the two Asian countries, is yet to be seen.


Also Watch

Read full article
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...