Malaysia government unwillingly withdraws from the Rome Statute

Malaysia government has decided to withdraw from the Rome Statute immediately after it had acceded to it few weeks ago.

The government has been forced to withdraw due to political pressure and concerns that the Rome Statute might place the Sultans, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at risk of being subjected to international law, even though they are constitutional monarchs who rule on the advice of the government.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced on Friday that the Cabinet has decided to withdraw from ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which would prosecute perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression, The Star reported.

He said it was not because the government is against it, but because the government was forced to bow out due to political pressure from opponents who wanted to trigger a row between the country’s monarchy and the new government, accusing them of engaging in a political move “to get the rulers to back them up”.

The ICC`s Rome Statute was empowered to institute proceedings against individuals for the international crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression when a country was unable or unwilling to charge its nationals for any of the abovementioned crimes under the Statute.

This means that if any political leader or royal commit crimes against humanity on a barbaric scale, and no action is taken to make them accountable, then it is right and proper that the international community intervene to bring them to justice at the ICC so that the people will be spared from future acts of terror,” it said.

Over 100 countries are party to the ICC, that probes genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression that are committed either in the territory of a state party or by a citizen of a state party.

Meanwhile, Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar thanked Putrajaya for withdrawing the ratification of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court (ICC).

“I also say thank you for respecting and accepting the views of the Conference of Rulers.”

However, the decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute received backlash from human rights defenders and many other parties.

Just less than half a year after Putrajaya withdrew from ratifying anti-racial discrimination convention ICERD following pressure from the Malay-Muslim lobby.

Former civil servants group G25 have urged Putrajaya to allow the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to be discussed and debated publicly before bringing the matter to Parliament for a final decision in the spirit of parliamentary democracy, the MalayMail reported yesterday.

Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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