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Don’t quit International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court

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Malaysia’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) barely a month after joining makes a mockery of the government’s commitment to justice, Human Rights Watch said today.

On 5 April 2019 Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that because “certain quarters [had] criticised the issue”, the cabinet had decided to “avoid political confusion” and withdraw from the court’s Rome Statute.

“By quitting the ICC, Malaysia’s government is undermining its credibility on human rights reforms,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Rather than stand up for justice, the government caved to pressure from former ruling parties and certain hereditary rulers.”

When Malaysia acceded to the Rome Statute on 4 March, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah declared Malaysia’s commitment “to combating international crimes for global peace and security”, saying that “Malaysia stands ready to work with all state[s] parties in upholding the principles of truth, human rights, rule of law and accountability.”

In the ensuing weeks, the opposition alliance of Umno and Pas criticised the government, alleging that joining the ICC would harm the rulers and Malaysia’s sovereignty.

The crown prince of Johor state alleged that the government had not consulted the hereditary rulers and said the king could face prosecution for war crimes “orchestrated” by individuals seeking to damage the royalty.

These criticisms reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the role and practices of the ICC, Human Rights Watch said. The ICC is a court of last resort, and only steps in when national authorities are unable or unwilling to deliver credible justice for the grave international crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction.

READ MORE:  Gaza conflict: Malaysian Bar urges immediate ratification of Rome Statute

This latest reversal on human rights follows the government’s backtracking on its pledge to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and its decision in November 2018 to lift a moratorium on using the draconian colonial-era Sedition Act.

“The Malaysian government’s standing on international justice has taken a nosedive because of misleading and unpersuasive criticism of the ICC,” Robertson said. “Unless the government stands firm on its original decision to join the ICC, it will be putting its whole human rights reform agenda at risk.”

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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Khoo Soo Hay
Khoo Soo Hay
8 Apr 2019 11.13am

With this reasoning from (certain quarters), this country may as well withdraw from the UN body and world affairs, and remain one of those independent sovereign Pacific islands. Nothing to touch us or we them, just survive on coconuts and fish and be very happy.

8 Apr 2019 10.24am

If you have nothing to Hide or Evade from then why quit ICC?
The majority rakyat voted for PH hoping for real Transparency, Integrity & Equality.
Sad to say, Its gone with the Wind…….

Conlay Chan KhungLei
7 Apr 2019 12.26am

Its not the government want to backward … you all can refer to fb statement of certain groups or individual who want gain public attention on the impact of STATUE ROME …

Mokka Sancha Hii
6 Apr 2019 4.03pm

Why wouldn’t one support ICC? Hmm?

Richard Ng Ting Woong
6 Apr 2019 2.58pm

PH government is moving backwards. How can a nation progress if we can bow to lunatic brain cretics.

8 Apr 2019 10.23am

Why run a government if they fear Lunatics??? That shows they have no control.

Lim Kooi Choong
6 Apr 2019 2.48pm

The USA is also not a member of ICC. PHILLIPINE has withdrawn 2 months ago

Mokka Sancha Hii
6 Apr 2019 4.01pm

THen this one must be very efficient?

Ding Laeng
11 Apr 2019 11.49am

Sometime the body itself eg. ICC, abuse its power to make a decision by not being fair to all the parties concerned.

Lim Kooi Choong
11 Apr 2019 12.40pm

Russia, China ,USA not a member

Thurai Singam Chandra Sehkaran
6 Apr 2019 1.32pm

1)who is Phil Robertson?
Is he Malaysian?
What is his right to comment about malaysian sovereignty?…
2) If our currency & manpower not equal with Europeans, than for what we should accept their law that diminish our king’s?
3) any element that challenge the monarch system, should be ousted from this nation, & consider as enemy of nation!
So #Aliran on which side? A foreign association or Malaysian Constitution?

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