India protests as Malaysia PM slams CAA

India protests as Malaysia PM slams CAA

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. (Reuters Photo)

 Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday criticised the new Citizenship (Amendment) Act of India, prompting New Delhi to strongly protest his “factually inaccurate” comments about the law.

Mohamad questioned the necessity of the new citizenship law of India. He was speaking to journalists on the sideline of a meeting of the leaders and representatives of Muslim-majority nations in Kuala Lumpur. “I am sorry to see that India, which claims to be a secular state, now is taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship,” Al Jazeera quoted the 94-year-old Prime Minister of Malaysia saying.

India was quick to lodge a protest against the remark by the Malaysian Prime Minister. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi issued a statement, noting that the Malaysian prime minister had again commented on a matter “entirely internal” to India.

Mahathir had earlier repeatedly criticised New Delhi's August 5 decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and reorganise the state into two Union Territories.

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides for citizenship through naturalisation to be fast-tracked for non-citizens who are persecuted minorities from three countries,” the MEA said in a press release issued in New Delhi shortly after Malaysian prime minister made the remark in Kuala Lumpur. “The Act does not impact in any manner on the status of any citizen of India, or deprive any Indian of any faith of her or his citizenship.”

Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the MEA, said that the comment by Prime Minister of Malaysia comment was “factually inaccurate”. “We call upon Malaysia to refrain from commenting on internal developments in India, especially without a right understanding of the facts,” he said.