Opposition files private bill against govt's move to accede to ICC

KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition has filed a Private Member's Bill, urging the federal government to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob claimed that the government's decision to accede to the statute without due debate in Parliament was worrying.

"We have submitted the motion on the matter and urged the government to immediately withdraw as it affects the position and the immunity of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

"The Speaker is expected to make a ruling next Monday. I hope this matter will be allowed to be debated by all lawmakers," he told reporters at Parliament lobby on Thursday (April 4).

The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court, with the objective of ending impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression.

On March 4, Malaysia signed the instrument to accede to the ICC.

Ismail questioned why the government was rushing to accede to the statute when other neighbouring countries had yet to do so.

"There are many other countries that did not accede to the statute including India, China, Russia and United States.

"We hope the government will re-think such decision," he said.

Wisma Putra had said that as a responsible member of the international community, Malaysia stood firm by its belief in the rule of law and acknowledges ICC’s complementary role to existing domestic laws.

The ICC was established in 2002 and is governed by the Rome Statute.

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