‘Malaysia can join ICC to pressure Israel over Palestine’

Displaced Palestinians, who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes, sheltering at a tent camp in Rafah. — Reuters

MALAYSIA can do more to quell Israeli atrocities in Gaza by becoming party to the Rome Statute, which will allow it to bring a case before the International Criminal Court (ICC), says prominent senior lawyer Andrew Khoo.

He says by becoming party to the statute, Malaysia can join any ongoing case under the ICC, which is filed under the Genocide Convention 1948.

“Join the ICC. Become a State Party to the Rome Statute. This would give us the right to bring a case before the ICC, or join in any action already filed.”

He says otherwise, Malaysia will not be able to file an action before the ICC as seen following the case of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 or MH17, which was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

Khoo also says Malaysia can introduce a law to criminalise genocide the provide the country’s courts with the jurisdiction to hear genocide cases taking place in foreign or international soil.

“Malaysia acceded to the Genocide Convention in December 1994. But for the past almost 30 years we have not done the next stage, which is to make the provisions of the Genocide Convention part of Malaysian law.

“This will allow us to prosecute, in Malaysia, those who carry out genocide in any part of the world, and even go after those who provide support for acts of genocide.”

He expressed disappointment over Malaysia’s inaction to do more and after acceding to the Genocide Convention.

“Malaysia’s failure to do this, and its ‘tidak apa’ attitude in relation to both the ICC and the Genocide Convention, is shameful and embarrassing. We say we are interested in strengthening the international human rights framework, but we are still not doing enough.”

He says criminalising genocide and the four crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression – covered by the statute would show Malaysia’s commitment and contribution to the international criminal law framework.

“(This is) by making sure that Malaysia does not become a place in which those who provide support for genocide and war crimes, crimes against humanity, among others, can hide and find refuge.”

On whether continued boycotts of companies supportive or linked to Israel would bolster campaign against the Zionist regime, Khoo says it will be more effective to implement sanctions in a coordinated fashion with other Asean countries.

“For example, we could sanction companies that operate in Malaysia that have connections with companies that sell equipment or provide services to any party involved in the armed conflict in Gaza.”

Palestinians searching through the rubble of a destroyed building for survivors following an Israeli airstrike in the Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza. — BloombergPalestinians searching through the rubble of a destroyed building for survivors following an Israeli airstrike in the Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza. — Bloomberg

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